Kevin Durant was on twitter and was asked the simple question, “you or Steph Curry in a 3-point contest?” and Kevin Durant’s response was short and sweet: “Steph any day, best shooter to ever play”
Now how true is this really? Is that even possible to think that there is a better shooter out there than Ray Allen? Or more importantly, Larry Bird? Yes, I said it. Steph Curry is a better shooter than Larry Bird.
If this becomes a compare and contrast about Larry Bird and Steph Curry let’s begin with some background on both the players.
Larry Bird was a 6’9″ small forward that played for the Boston Celtics. Bird played 13 seasons with the Celtics claiming 3 NBA Championships, 3 NBA MVP, 12 time NBA All-Star, 2 time NBA Finals MVP, and 9 time All NBA First Team. In just 13 seasons, Larry Bird accomplished so much in his career, one of these was scoring a total of 21,791 points making him number 3 for most points scored by a Celtics player. He attended Indiana State University and lead his team to the 1979 NCAA championship game. Prior to this game ISU had never been to the tournament before Bird began playing. Although the championship was lost, Bird continued to work every day on his basketball skills. Eventually he would be picked 6th to play for the Boston Celtics in the NBA.
Wardell Stephen Curry II stands at 6’3″ and plays shooting guard for the Golden State Warriors. He began to average more than 22 points per game after the 2010-All Star and ended up being second place for Rookie of the Year, he then was granted a spot on the USA Men’s Basketball Senior National Team which brought home the gold at the 2010 World Championship. In the 2012-2013 season he set the NBA record for most three pointers at 272, and was then named Western Conference Player of the Month. 2014 began with his first All-Star award and being one half of the “Splash Brothers” duo, and was then the leading vote getter for the 2015 All-Star game. 2015 Curry led his team to the NBA Championships and helped the Warriors to receive their first championship since 1975. Oh, and he beat his previous record of three pointers and ended up hitting 286. All of his accomplishments came from practicing with his father, former NBA star, Dell Curry. His mother, also a former Division 1 volleyball player, pushed all of her children to pursue hard training in athletics. Curry played D-1 College basketball at Davidson and scored 32 points in his second game against the University of Michigan, his scoring helped to lead him to the Southern Conference freshmen of the year honors.
Both of these NBA stars are and will be legends to their hometowns and to their teams. But, with so much that happened to Larry Bird and the incredible future that Curry has, who is the better shooter?
In 13 seasons, Larry Bird’s field goal percentage ended with a .496% while Curry’s trails behind with a .474%. However Steph Curry’s three-point percentage is much greater than Bird’s. Curry has a .443% from the three point lane, while Bird maintained a .376%. As a basketball player myself, free-throws can make or break a game, and if I had to choose between the two I would pick Steph Curry who has a free throw percentage of .901 (Bird trails at a .886%).
Larry Bird’s best season in his 13-seasoned career was in 1988 when he averaged 29.9 points per game. Curry’s best season thus far is 2016’s season where he is currently averaging 32.5 points per game. Even in the play-offs Curry’s average points per game is higher. Curry averages 25.9 points in the play-off season whereas Bird averaged 23.8.
Both of these players are arguably the best shooters in NBA history. But, who do you think is better?
As a Boston Celtics fan I got to root for Larry, but my heart says that Curry has it in the bag.
Curry may however might beat the Celtic Legend.