Steph Curry was the No. 7 overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.
James Harden went No. 3 overall to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
On Thursday's episode of "The Lowe Post" podcast, ESPN's Zach Lowe and The Ringer's Bill Simmons re-drafted the 2009 class.
Here's how the conversation went:
Lowe: "I gave you the number one pick in the draft because I'm a nice person. Also, I get to foist the tough decision onto you and I get to make the easy decision. So who's your first pick?"
Simmons: "I mean, it's not a tough decision. It's Stephen Curry. I get somebody who was a back-to-back MVP. I get the greatest shooter of all time. I get somebody who basically is a 50-40-90 guy for his entire career.
"And most important -- I get a culture guy. There's been a handful of guys in the history of the league that you can just build your team around and it was gonna be OK. He's this generation's (Tim) Duncan. The best possible teammate.
"The fact that the Warriors situation with KD (Kevin Durant) didn't really fall apart until midway through Year 3 is almost a credit to the culture they had there to begin with, because it should have fallen apart in Year 2 and it didn't."
Steve Kerr: "Steph allows for everything in this organization to function smoothly. He's helped build the culture, and it's largely been built around his joy and his energy. And it just fills every corner of this organization."— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) April 8, 2020
Over a five-year span from 2015 to 2019, Curry and the Warriors eliminated Harden and the Rockets from the playoffs four times.
In the 2015 Western Conference finals, Curry averaged 31.2 points and 5.6 assists, while shooting 51.5 percent overall and 49.1 percent from deep. Harden averaged 28.4 points and 7.8 assists, while shooting 46.5 percent overall and 38.7 percent from deep
[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]
Over the last five games of the 2018 Western Conference finals, Curry averaged 28.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.8 turnovers, while shooting just under 48 percent from the field and 40.3 percent from deep. Harden averaged 26.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 5.2 turnovers, while shooting under 39 percent from the field and 20.4 percent from beyond the arc.
Harden put up better numbers overall than Curry in the 2019 Western Conference semifinals. But in the fourth quarter of a pivotal Game 5 -- with Kevin Durant in the locker room -- Steph racked up 12 points and two assists (with zero turnovers), while Harden recorded five points, one assist and one turnover.
And then in the fourth quarter of Game 6 in Houston (without KD), Curry registered 23 points and didn't turn the ball over once, while Harden scored 12 points and committed four turnovers.
Simmons had one more point to make when comparing the two.
"I think there's gonna be a really interesting second piece of his career post-prime, when he's still gonna be awesome -- just in a different way," he said of Curry. "I look at Harden going forward -- I'm not sure how his game ages with the kind of physicality he's endured with all the hits. I just wonder what that looks like.
"So for me, it was actually a pretty easy decision."
Actually, Simmons had one more thing to say about the only unanimous MVP in NBA history.
"I continue to think Steph is the most underrated guy of the last 15 years," he said. "Even with other players (they say), 'He's good, he's not that good.' It's just bizarre to me."
Simmons for the win.