Steph Curry’s fourth ring was the most special of all. In the season in which he became the all-time leader in three-pointers, Kerry finally managed to get the personal title he was missing: MVPof The NBA Finals.
We all knew how huge Kerry was even without the Bill Russell trophy, but we also knew that once he removed that asterisk we could jump him up a few notches on the history ladder, and put him in the top 10. Still, we needed to see the greatest scorer ever take over Back a team to the championship. And it happened.
With the win against Boston in the 2022 finals, Kerry equaled LeBron James in the number of championships, but it was clear that if he wanted to take another step towards the “Mount Rushmore” of the NBA, he needed a fifth ring to leave his biggest rival behind.
Then came Game 7 in Sacramento. At the age of 35, the Golden State superstar delivered the biggest performance of his playoff career with 50 points (NBA record for game 7) that made the whole world grab their heads and realize that this man is hungry for more and ready for more. “It will be remembered as Steph’s game,” he said Clay Thompsonwho felt what most of us felt – number 30 is again in the best form in the world at the perfect timing.
The basketball gods arranged for us what we wanted and the ultimate scenario was presented to Kerry: a fifth episode in the playoffs against LeBron, with a ticket to the Western Conference finals at stake against the Los Angeles Lakers. Just, that’s not really true. An entire history was at stake.
If the last game against the Kings was “Steph’s Game”, this should have been “Steph’s Series”. The kind of series that you return to in every discussion and watch their highlights decades in the future.
Curry got a huge opportunity, one that may not come back, to approach LeBron’s league. Not to overtake him or be in the same line with him and Michael Jordan, but to be as close to there as possible. Because Steph’s victory over “King James” in the series (when there is no Kevin Durant or injured on the other side) and a run for a fifth championship would fly him straight into the top 5 of all time, with room for discussion of the top 3.
Kobe Bryant (5), Tim Duncan (5), Magic Johnson (5), Michael Jordan (6), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (6) and Bill Russell (11) are the only players with at least 5 championships which are considered the top of the top of the industry. Put Kerry on this list, perhaps the player who had the most impact on basketball (certainly on the last generation), and we talk about him differently. Sure and sure if on the way he would dethrone LeBron while taking revenge on him for coming back from 3:1 in 2016 and going up to a 1:4 record against him in the series.
This loss of Kerry didn’t hurt his glorious legacy (like that of Kevin Durant yesterday, for example), but it did prevent her from getting the strongest “boost” she could have asked for.
curry. Got a chance to get close, and missed (Getty)-
Curry finished Game 6 with 32 points (11 of 28 from the field, 4 of 14 from three), while LeBron delivered his best playoff game with 30 points (10 of 14 from the field), 9 rebounds and 9 assists. Both recorded a plus-minus index of 21, only one with a plus and the other with a minus.-
The league’s all-time leading scorer broke an NBA record by winning the 41st series of his career, and that victory may only get bigger as time goes on. Because if it was the victory that brought the era of the Warriors to an end – looking back we can say that LeBron put an end to the great Detroit, to the Boston of the four stars, to the trio of Oklahoma City, to Golden State before KD and to Golden State after KD.
One thing this LA win sure did – widened the distance between LeBron and Kerry, or rather made it clearer. Even if “King James” had started his career in 2009 (along with Steph) he would be considered greater today, when in fact, even before his opponent entered the league in the same draft as Omri Caspi, he already had 5 All-Star appearances, an appearance One in the finals and MVP title.
You can’t really digest the fact that LeBron is 38 years old and that he is the third oldest player in the league, especially when you dwell on the two in front of him – Andre Iguodala (who ended his career with the Warriors’ loss) and Widonis Haslam, who already parted ways with Miami in the last game of the regular season. So in practice the Lakers star is the oldest player in the NBA, and at the same time the best player in the NBA.
LeBron passed 50% of his task – to get a fifth championship, which can change world orders in our terms. If Curry had a chance to get close to Mount Rushmore and maybe even join him, LeBron could shake him and the entire GOAT debate. But we will talk about that later, first he has to go through the mountains of Denver.
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