Stephen Curry and Tim Hardaway have both been members of the Golden State Warriors and consequently one can only wonder which of these players has meant more to the franchise.
To be perfectly honest, the comparison is practically silly given the difference in length of both players’ careers. Hardaway was a member of the Warriors for a little over five years while Curry will be playing his fifth season in Golden State when the 2013-14 campaign commences.
Furthermore, the proud owner of the killer crossover was a member of the iconic Run TMC (the trio of Hardaway, Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin) trio that made back-to-back postseason appearances in the early 1990s.
Our very own Jesse Taylor has made it clear he shares a particular affinity for that group given its popularity and the offensive fireworks the three-headed monster regularly put on display.
There is an argument to be made that Hardaway is the starting point guard on the Warriors’ all-time team given his talent, production and the influence he helped create in the Bay Area during the 1990s. Hence, Curry is not yet on par with his counterpart on this front.
But he is not that far either. The Dubs’ guard led Golden State to a 47-win season during the 2012-13 season and had countless nights where he simply looked like a basketball savant.
One can debate whether or not Curry’s ball-handling wizardry is on par with Hardaway’s, but it is nonetheless one of the most dazzling handles in the league. The long-range sniper habitually makes defenders look silly with his combination of crossovers and behind-the-back dribbles.
Also, his step-back jumper is so lethal that opponents are obligated to honor it and thus will routinely bite on the fakes he presents when moving back to the 3-point line.
When all else fails though, Curry can always rely on his shooting. Whether he is spotting up or simply toying with defenders and then launching an off-the-dribble jumper, the Davidson product is a rainmaker.
Curry put all of those skills to use during the 2012-13 season and lit up the NBA’s two marquee venues: Madison Square Garden and Staples Center.
The world-class shooter dropped a ridiculous 54 points on the New York Knicks a few days after the 2013 All-Star game and then reproduced the feat against the Los Angeles Lakers roughly two months later with a sensational 47-point outing.
After displaying his talents in the regular season, Curry steered the Warriors into the postseason and seemingly erased every memory of the Monta Ellis era. With their main scorer leading the way, Golden State ousted the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the 2013 playoffs.
Furthermore, the Dubs gave the San Antonio Spurs — who later obtained a finals berth — their toughest Western Conference battle of the entire postseason. Prior to the franchise’s 2013 tournament berth, they had been absent from the playoffs since the conclusion of the 2006-07 campaign.
In turn, it’s now Curry’s turn to revolutionize basketball in the Bay Area and inspire fans to cheer for the team. This generation will cling to these Warriors and remember them for their up-tempo style as well as their entertainment value.
Curry is not Hardaway, but it is fair to ask whether he is on the path that will allow him to surpass the former Miami Heat player.
The answer is obviously yes…
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