Warriors

Bomani Jones cites example for why Steph Curry isn't clear superstar

Warriors

ESPN's Bomani Jones -- who said some stuff about Steph Curry the last couple of weeks that caused quite the stir -- had more to say about the two-time NBA MVP on Monday.

When he was a guest on 95.7 The Game, host Matt Kolsky made the following statement: "I think the way Warriors fans feel a lot of the times is you talk about him like he's just an All-Star -- which is a nice way to talk about a normal person, and a disrespectful way to talk about Steph Curry."

Jones used the opportunity to double down on his rationale for why the three-time NBA champion isn't in the same tier as LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard or Giannis Antetokounmpo.

"He's in that weird space on superstar. I am notoriously strict on who I call a superstar," Jones explained. "This doesn't have anything to do with Steph Curry. I'll name only three or four people in the league at a time as being superstars. I did JJ Redick's podcast and he made the point that if Steph doesn't get locked up by Kevin Love, am I saying the thing about him and his ability to get his own shot? Maybe.

 

"The more damning thing that happened in 2016, is the fact that when it was time to win a championship, the (Cleveland Cavaliers) were running ball screen, ball screen, ball screen until they got a 1-on-1 matchup with Steph Curry. And I don't know if there's ever been a player as good as Steph Curry where that would happen.

"And that's something that when we start thinking about who superstars have historically been -- larger players who can do everything, or be incredibly dominant centers ... in the eyes of many, (Steph) has a demerit on defense that is normally disqualifying for being legitimately seen as a great player -- even though he's a better defensive player than people give him credit for being."

In the 2016 NBA Finals, the Cavs did repeatedly attack Curry -- which was smart because his knee wasn't 100 percent, and he was starting to wear down (plus the Warriors' other players were better defenders).

So in a nutshell, it's very safe to assume the Game 7 sequence of Kyrie Irving hitting the iconic stepback 3-pointer over Curry, followed by Curry missing the potential game-tying 3-pointer over Love, has greatly impacted Jones' mindset.

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If he continues to hold that against Curry to this day, that's his prerogative. But we need to remind people about Jones' original comment from his own podcast on July 24 that triggered this whole conversation:

"This is my metric for (NBA) superstar -- do you have a chance to win a championship just because we got you? We'll work the rest out, but if the first thing you tell me is that this guy plays for us, then we got a chance to do this ... I feel like even with a healthy Stephen Curry, you gotta put some fairly specific things around him."

As yours truly wrote at the time, that argument is silly. Even Michael Jordan needed "specific things around him" to have a "chance" at capturing the title. We don't need to spend any more time on that narrative.

[RELATED: Steph tweets veiled response to 'system player' critique]

So let's close with one other topic Jones touched on.

"I do think that we saw both in the 2015 postseason and 2016 postseason, the Warriors needed at least one other player who could get his own shot," he said. "They went and got one of the most incredible shot makers (Kevin Durant) that there has ever been.

"But it wasn't Steph's fault that they needed another guy that could get his own shot. I think people got mad at me on the podcast because I said something to the effect that Steph (isn't) able to get his own shot. That's something I shouldn't have said. The phrasing on it was clunky.

 

"But you can only go so far with one guy who can get his own shot. And it's pretty amazing that they won a championship (in 2015) with a team with one guy that can get his own shot. They just went and found something that is hard to find, which is a player that is better than Steph Curry."

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