When it comes to international superstardom, two players have always stood head and shoulders above the rest: Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. In the 1990s Jordan revolutionized the game and was a true icon worldwide. Kobe would do the same in the 2000s, drawing ridiculous crowds whenever he traveled overseas.
The last couple of seasons has seen Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry begin to enter that stratosphere. With back-to-back MVPs in 2015 and 2016, two NBA championships, and a fan friendly style that captivates everyone who watches as to why Curry’s popularity has reached the heights it has.
With this new level of stardom comes the inevitable comparisons and in an interview with Gerald Flores of Complex Curry dismissed them, choosing instead to focus on making his own impact:
“A lot of the younger generation who are watching the game now don’t remember seeing Michael play. Even the younger, younger generation don’t even know who Kobe is on the court,” Curry said. “This is my time to do me and get the most out of the game that I can. It goes with that off-the-court impression of being able to inspire kids to want to be like me when they grow up…That’s the goal for sure and there’s a huge opportunity to make that happen.”
Curry has certainly made his impact and it is only beginning. His outstanding ball-handling and unlimited shooting range has brought about highlights never before seen in the NBA. It also helps that his game can be emulated by anyone as it doesn’t rely on athleticism or size, but rather skill.
Reaching the popularity level of Kobe or Jordan is a huge hill to climb and one that he may never reach. But with Curry still only 29 years old and the Warriors likely to be among the league’s elite teams for years to come, he may represent the best chance at someone reaching that level.