I don't know what compels people to make a fool of themselves in an attempt to denigrate Steph Curry and what he has accomplished, but it has been going on for so long that, at this point, we can only assume it'll never stop. Surely it has plenty to do with the fact that his skill set always has been more imposing than his size, and he has used it to ascend to the top of his sport, surpassing many of his numerous denigrator's favorite players along the way.
It happened again Wednesday, and it involved a repeat offender. Fox Sports' Nick Wright has long exposed himself as a LeBron James fanboy, and the three-wins-to-one head-to-head Finals record Curry holds over The King frequently has led Wright to say some ridiculous things -- of which are easily proven wrong.
The Warriors didn't have a great start to the season, as they were blown out by the Brooklyn Nets on Opening Night, and the knee-jerk, hot-take culture has been running rampant ever since the end of the first half. A new group missing Draymond Green and starting a 19-year-old rookie had a clunker in its first game in over nine months -- against one of the favorites to win the title -- and the sky is falling, as apparently it's a certainty that Golden State is headed for another high lottery pick for the second straight year.
Reasonable people will pump the brakes and not go crazy over such a minuscule sample size, especially given the conditions. But there are plenty of senseless critics out there, Wright frequently chief among them.
Wright's latest absurdities? That Curry has never carried a mediocre team to the playoffs like Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Chris Paul have and, based on what happened on Opening Night, that he'll prove himself incapable of doing so this season.
***Cue eye roll***
"I think this year is going to expose -- not expose Steph as a player -- but expose a part of Steph Curry's game that a lot of us ... have always quietly suspected, but have never been able to see," Wright said on "The Herd." "Which is, all right, we know Steph is the perfect piece on a great team, but can he carry a bad team -- not to a championship, not to 55 wins -- how 'bout, to the playoffs? If not to the playoffs, to a .500 record?"
"Steph has never needed to do that -- what Russ had to do the year [Kevin Durant] left, or the year KD was injured, what Harden had to do his first year in Houston and the year before they got Chris Paul in Houston -- which is be an offense unto himself. Say, listen, 'Can't win a title, but we're going to get to 45 wins-plus, we're gonna get to the playoffs, and it's going to be all through me.' Steph has never had to do that, and what I fear we're going to find out this year is, that's very good because he can't."
I'll spare you the rest, but that about sums up the ridiculousness. Apparently, Curry and the Warriors never did anything before the 2015-16 season.
That's what Wright would have you believe, but luckily, we have the internet as a resource. I just looked it up and, sure enough, Curry and the Warriors actually did exist prior to the recent dynasty. Who knew, huh? You learn something new every day.
Not only has Curry already done the very thing that Wright believes he can't, but the only unanimous MVP in NBA history has an accomplishment of far greater magnitude on his career resume. He hasn't just led the Warriors to the playoffs; he lifted the entire franchise out of the gutter.
From the moment Curry stepped foot in the NBA, he elevated the play of those around him. He should have been named Rookie of the Year, and followed that up with an even better sophomore campaign, though his supporting cast was severely lacking in talent. His third season was cut short due to chronic ankle injuries that required surgery.
That 2011-12 season in which he played only 23 games was the last time the Warriors didn't win at least 47 regular-season games and qualify for the playoffs until this past season, when Curry was limited to just five games due to injury.
Want to know how we know Wright didn't watch the 2012-13 playoffs? Because if he had, there's no way he could keep a straight face while making the argument he did. During the regular season, Curry began his ascent to superstardom, and continued it in the playoffs, where he led Golden State to a first-round upset over the Denver Nuggets, and had the San Antonio Spurs on the ropes in the second round.
2013-14? 51-win regular season and a playoff berth.
2014-15? 67 wins, his first MVP and the franchise's first championship in 40 years.
2015-16? An NBA-record 73 wins, arguably the best statistical season by a guard in league history, the first-ever unanimous MVP and a controversial suspension away from back-to-back 'ships.
Then Kevin Durant arrived, and everyone conveniently seemed to forget everything that had led up to that point. This idea that Curry always has been surrounded by immense talent is downright laughable and couldn't be farther from the truth. Curry hasn't done what Harden, Paul and Westbrook have?
Oh please. Curry has done what they've done -- and then some.
The fact that Wright is searching for some arbitrary stat line that Curry must meet -- and already has -- in order to prove him wrong is further proof that some unfortunately never will be satisfied. It's an irrational standpoint to take, as is extrapolating the performance in one game as a certain indicator of what's to come in the next 71.
For all the players Curry has made look foolish over the years, the number pales in comparison to the collection of critics that continue to expose themselves as such.