OAKLAND – Not all NBA retirees are petulant observers throwing eggs at the Steph Curry Show. One who previously walked in shoes similar to those turning gold on Curry’s feet offers a snappy response to the grumps.
“They couldn’t do it,” Dennis Scott said Tuesday. “It’s just that simple.
“That’s why we shooters are not mad at him.”
Scott, as he spoke, was grinning like a proud uncle. He knows the deal, for he was a superior long-distance shooter, the Steph Curry of his day from deep. Scott is, in most respects, the Godfather of the 3-ball. He is “3D.”
When Scott made 267 treys in 1995-96, it held up as a single-season NBA record for 10 years. Prior to then, only John Starks made more than 200 in a season.
Since 1995-96, only two players have made more than Scott’s 267. Ray Allen surpassed it exactly 10 years later, when he drained 269. And Curry has blown by 267 in three of the last four seasons. He has 301 with 20 games still on the schedule.
Scott believes Curry is capable of getting 400 – and beyond.
“At the beginning of the year, it sounded crazy,” said Scott, in the Bay Area as an analyst for NBATV and TNT. “People don’t understand. When I broke the record, I was taking nine 3s a game. Steph is taking 11 or 12. That’s what you should do when they’re going in.
“The numbers don’t seem normal because most people cannot shoot from where he can shoot. But I’m loving every bit of it.”
Hardly an hour goes by, though, without someone from the past clearing his throat and shaking vinegar on Curry. If it’s not Oscar Robertson, it’s Walt Frazier. It’s Charles Barkley last week, this week and next week. Cranky sportswriters sometimes fan the flames of criticism.
But shooters from the past, guys like Ray Allen and Chris Mullin and Scott, they appreciated what Curry has been able to do.
“We used to say the art of shooting has gone away,” Scott said. “Steph is bringing the jump shot back. Michael Jordan had everybody trying to jump to the rim. The And-1 era had everybody dribbling too much. The point of the game is to put the ball in the hole. And Steph is bringing that back.”
As for those who insist on comparing Curry to Allen or, for that matter, Adrian Smith, Scott also has a response.
“If you want to compare eras,” he said, “go to the barber shop.”