by Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley
Special to the NNPA from the Afro-American Newspaper
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry generated an instant headline early last week when he declared himself a better offensive player than four-time MVP LeBron James. When asked on the Dan Patrick Show who was the better offensive player, Curry, known for his accurate stroke, replied, “Me.”
James has dominated the league over the last few years, guiding the Miami Heat to four consecutive finals appearances. Curry may have a point, however. He’s evolved into one of the most dangerous offensive threats in the leag ue in just a few short seasons. By far, James is the better player. But offensively, Curry’s argument seems pretty valid. Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley of the AFRO Sports Desk debate just how valid that statement may be.
Riley: Curry is easily more skilled offensively than James. His handle is tighter, his shot is better, and his hardwood IQ is just as sharp as any blue chip NBA star. You’re never going to opt for James to take an open shot over Curry. The 2014 NBA All Star can fill it up, evidenced by his selection this year. He’s been taught well by his father, Dell Curry, and his fundamentals in every offensive portion of his game are solid.
Green: Curry might be better skilled but James can take over games and that aspect to me makes him the better offensive player by default. James’ size, speed, and athleticism give him the perfect combination to attack any style of defense. His post game has continued to mature under the Heat organization and the range on his jumper continues to strengthen. He’s the ultimate player in the NBA and the fact that he can control a game once he gets hot gives any team he’s on a chance to cut deficits or blow games wide open. For all his skills, a bigger defender can often take Curry out of his game. At his size and conditioning, James is indefensible.
Riley: James’ size is always going to win him any argument, but if we’re talking pound-for-pound and who’s the most skilled then I can’t see how it isn’t Curry. He’s already one of the best, but put Curry in James’ body and what kind of devastating player would you have? I would put Curry against anybody in any type of three-point shooting or skills-type competition. Would James really be the best player in the world if he wasn’t dominating defenders with his size?
Green: Quite possibly. James’ floor game and basketball intellect make him just as much the terror on the court as his physical prowess. The reason he’s such an outstanding player is based more on his well-rounded game than anything else. Curry’s skills are outstanding but he’s never going to be the force that James is, nor will he match his leadership skills. A few years ago, this would have been a loaded question. However, after years of growing up and reshaping his floor game, James is now the ideal player because he just exceeds at everything that has to do with basketball. I may not like LeBron James very much, but I will respect his skill set. I can say this: I would rather watch Stephen Curry shoot 40-foot jumpers any time over LeBron’s game. It’s just something attractive about the long-ball shot. But when we talk offensive efficiency, King James comes second to no one.