Warriors

'Like Mike:' Ewing puts Steph with MJ on list of greats

Warriors

The list of all-time great athletes is long. To list those whose impact will be felt on the game long after they've retired is much shorter. They are those who go by only one name: Jordan, LeBron, Kobe, Shaq and Steph.

Patrick Ewing, one of Michael Jordan's chief Eastern Conference rivals, knows a thing or two about basketball legends, and he sees Steph Curry sharing the same space occupied by His Airness.

"Steph, like Michael, changed the game," Ewing told NBC Sports Bay Area's Chris Mullin. "You got guys shooting those deep shots and doing the things that he did. Michael changed it by all the dunking he was doing. Georgetown played [Davidson} and my son was on the team so I went to the game. He kicked our butt. I still didn't think he would the player that he became. I take my hat off to him. He's definitely a student of the game, he's worked at his craft and he has those guys playing together as a team."

It's hard to argue with Ewing.

The Warriors' run to five straight NBA Finals was propelled by Curry's ascent to global superstardom that has players everywhere trying to match the Golden State star by knocking down long-range jumpers.

Curry has his share of detractors. All greats do. But the list of those who discount the two-time MVP's accomplishments and impact on the game is long. Of course, such critics don't have a leg to truly stand on. They instead hop from one quicky disappearing patch of land to another while their feeble arguments are quickly swallowed up by the overwhelming evidence that Curry belongs in rarified air.

 
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Curry's next act will have a higher degree of difficulty than the one that saw him, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala steamroll the NBA into submission.

Durant and Iguodala are gone. Thompson is missing his second straight full season, this time to rehab a torn Achilles tendon. Curry and the new-look Warriors still are learning how to exist in their new reality.

After Tuesday night's win over the New York Knicks, the Warriors are 17-15 and in eighth place in the loaded Western Conference. The road back to the top won't be an easy one, but if anyone can drag his team back to the top, it's an all-time great like Curry.

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