Trae Young raised some eyebrows in April when he boldly claimed he would catch Steph Curry as the NBA's top shooter in one year.
The Atlanta Hawks star is one of the best young players in the NBA, but passing Curry as the best shooter in the league would be a tall task for anyone. As any young player chasing greatness has to do, Young set his sights at the top of the mountain. But he's quick to note his comments were no disrespect to the Warriors superstar.
“I have a lot of respect for Steph," Young said on Showtime's "All The Smoke" podcast. "He’s done so much, I mean, MVPs. I think if it weren’t for Steph there wouldn’t be, maybe, a Trae Young. Steph is the first to do what he’s doing.
"I got a lot of love for Steph and everything he’s done.”
While Young was averaging 29.6 points per game when the NBA season was suspended due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, he was shooting just 36.1 percent from 3-point range and just 34.4 percent from downtown for his career. Contrast that with Curry, who never has shot under 41.1 percent from distance in his career -- not counting the five games he played this season where he hit on just 24.5 percent of his looks while missing most of the season with a broken hand.
Young has a long way to go to even enter the realm of best shooter in the game, but the Oklahoma product isn't backing down from his claim.
“For me, I’m very confident,” Young said. “Shaq was trying to get that out of me. He knows how confident I am in myself and my work and what I put in. That’s what it is.”
Young's talent is undeniable, but he's going to have to take another leap to reach the stratosphere in which Curry resides.
NBA history is littered with the bones of players who reached for greatness but fell short of their desired goal.
Curry is the best shooter in NBA history. He exists in rarified air. Young is one of the most exciting young players in the NBA, but he has some work to do.
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