Steph Curry isn’t directly motivated by comparing his lengthy list of accomplishments to those of other all-time greats. His utmost priority is reaching his personal peak while bringing the Golden State Warriors along with him, not outdoing longtime NBA Finals rivals and legendary predecessors.
Asked if he ever thinks about surpassing LeBron James and equaling Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan by winning a fifth championship ring, though, Curry admitted that “historical context” is indeed in the back of his mind.
“You definitely understand the list that it puts you in every time you get another one, and understanding the historical context of it all,” he told Steiny & Guru on Audacy’s 95.7 The Game. “But the motivation is always just how much better can I get individually. It sounds cheesy as hell but it’s like literally how much better can I get, what is the challenge of this season and do we have a belief we can [win a championship], and until proven otherwise absolutely. So whatever that comes with that, it’s hopefully a potential accomplishment, and the greats that have been champions over and over and over again, the five-timer list or whatever it is? You imagine what it would feel like. But the motivation is just always what you can do. That’s why I continue to try to play at this level and be grateful for the opportunity that even at 14 years in, the level I’m trying to play at, that is a realistic goal.”
Curry’s legacy was cemented before winning his fourth title and long-awaited first NBA Finals MVP last June. But that epic achievement silenced critics who lessened the significance of his two rings alongside Kevin Durant and initial championship coronation in 2015 when the Warriors beat LeBron and the injury-ravaged Cleveland Cavaliers in six games, Andre Iguodala winning Finals MVP.
Curry already has a legitimate case as one of the top-10 players ever. One more Larry O’Brien Trophy wouldn’t just bolster his resumé for that honor, but lend further credence to the notion he’s on a different level than even icons like Bryant and Duncan—and on the same extra exalted one as James.
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