There has been a lot of conversation this Warriors season about Steph Curry's legacy. In truth, it is nothing new either. There always have been persisting questions about his career and his accomplishments.
Draymond Green has spent his entire career playing alongside Curry on the Warriors, and has heard all of the naysayers and doubters. So when Green joined the latest episode of the Dubs Talk podcast, he gave his thoughts on the constant legacy chatter.
To Green, the legacy question marks are not unique to Curry. In fact, another all-time legend has received even more criticism:
"I was reading my quote from All-Star weekend, I think I was talking to Ros [Gold-Onwude], and I was just speaking about 'Oh how there is so much doubt about Steph's legacy, there is so much discussion about Steph's legacy this year' and I said to her 'I don't understand it.' And I saw that quote on Instagram a few days ago, and I was thinking about it and what the reality is," Green said. "And if I think 'Who is the most beat-down athlete of our generation, probably of all time? The athlete that has taken the most criticism' ... it's LeBron James.
"And if you look at LeBron James' body of work, on the court, off the court, it does not matter. The fact that people still criticize him, and I watched this game last year that they were like 'If they lose this game, his legacy is done' and I'm just sitting there like 'You can't possibly say after everything this man has done, that if they lose this one game, his legacy is done.' But that is the narrative people build up.
"So I said all of that to say, when I was sitting there thinking about this, I came to the conclusion that they are going to continue to take rips at [Steph's] legacy, because they do that to LeBron James. People just don't have an appreciation for greatness, or more importantly people don't have an understanding for greatness and so because you don't understand greatness you question greatness. We all question what we don't understand. If you don't understand something, since you were a child, what did they tell you? 'Say hey, I have a question, I don't understand.' Everyone questions these guys' legacies because they don't understand greatness. And so, that is what I kind of came up with over the last few days. They will continue to be questioned because people don't understand greatness.
"It kind of goes back to what Kobe [Bryant] said. 'Draymond, 99 percent of the world is OK with mediocrity, or less than mediocrity. Mediocrity is great for them. So how will you ever expect them to understand you and your chase of something so much greater than what they can ever understand?' That is Steph Curry's legacy, that is LeBron's legacy. People don't understand greatness, they will never understand what those guys are doing and that's just what it is."
Green is right that for all that LeBron has accomplished, there always seems to be those that will try to diminish his place in the pantheon of all-time greats. The unfortunate part, which Green did not specify, is that it seems as if many of those that defend LeBron's legacy, also diminish Curry's.
And vice versa.
Comparison is, and always has been, part of sports analysis and that will not change anytime soon. However, hopefully after Curry and James retire and inevitably enter the Hall of Fame, those that are so keen on diminishing their legacies will be able to look back and appreciate their greatness.