Stephen Curry‘s pathway to greatness has featured some bumps along the way due to injury and doubters. His continued excellence has silenced much of that disdain while elevating him to become one of the NBA’s biggest stars. With that in mind, Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal recently admitted he initially wasn’t too fond of Curry’s playing style.
Stephen Curry’s steady rise to NBA stardom
Stephen Curry entered the NBA with plenty of doubts due to his size and playing style.
Curry has guided past those conversations to become one of the league’s best talents over the last decade. He has firmly established himself as arguably the greatest shooter in league history while scoring at a historic pace.
Curry has stacked up an impressive resume with three NBA titles, two regular-season MVP awards, seven All-Star selections, and six All-NBA team nods. His playing style helped change the league’s landscape, with teams constructing offensive schemes heavily reliant on the 3-point shot.
Although the 33-year-old has established himself as one of the faces of the NBA, one all-time great initially had trouble embracing his game.
Shaquille O’Neal candidly admits he used to hate on Stephen Curry
Throughout the early portion of Stephen Curry’s NBA career, he faced heavy criticism directed toward his playing style.
At the time, his approach to the game was a drastic shift from how the rest of the league operated. Curry became the spark for negative chatter that saw many in and around the NBA doubt his ability.
During a segment on NBA on TNT on Tuesday night, Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal admitted that he wasn’t particularly a huge fan of Curry’s playing style, but his mindset change over time.
“I used to hate on him early on in his career,” O’Neal said. “(I’d say), ”He ain’t gonna make that,” but he kept proving me wrong, and that’s why he’s my best player.
“I like being proved wrong, so my message to these young cats: When I say something, prove me wrong.”
O’Neal, like many others, transitioned over to garnering tremendous respect for Curry’s play. In fact, he has admitted on several occasions that the Warriors star guard is now his favorite player in the league to watch.
Some are still not entirely fans of his approach to the game, but it’s hard to ignore his continued historic excellence that will land him in the Hall of Fame one day.
NBA career remains an open book
In his 12th season, Stephen Curry continues to light it up offensively at an unmatched pace.
He has taken his production to another level this year as it has already placed him in the record books again. Curry has the opportunity to become the oldest player to lead the league in scoring as he’s in a neck-to-neck race with Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal.
Beyond his tremendous production this season, it’s a clear indicator that he has plenty left in the tank to maintain his elite level of play.
The question then becomes whether the Warriors can provide the roster around him to allow his performance to help guide them back to NBA title contention.
Golden State possesses a few promising young talents, but not nearly enough to get the franchise comfortably into the playoff picture in the stacked Western Conference. The Warriors have their cornerstone piece in place, but it’s a matter of the front office constructing a team that will best utilize his continued stellar play.