© Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Few things are as endlessly entertaining as the debate over who’s the best player in the NBA. Just about any debate over how to rank NBA players, whether currently or historically, tends to be met less with discourse and more with heated “your wrong”-s from whoever feels the most aggrieved.
As it stands, who is the best player in the NBA? LeBron James? Giannis Antetokounmpo? Kawhi Leonard? Kevin Durant?… Stephen Curry?
Bleacher Report’s Will Gottlieb, who joined KNBR’s Dieter Kurtenbach on Monday, believes it’s that last name. A healthy number people, if not most, it’s fair to say, would disagree with that take. Whether that’s a fair response or not is another question.
So what shaped Gottlieb’s conclusion?
“Ultimately I think what it comes down to is people want to say LeBron or Giannis are better than Steph… or Kawhi or whoever the other guys you mentioned are because they could physically overpower him in a game of one-on-one,” Gottlieb said. “The NBA is not a game of one-on-one. It’s a team game. It’s a game where the great players make everybody else around them better and, in my opinion, nobody, maybe in the history of the game has done that better than Steph has. Steph makes everyone around him infinitely better. He allows the Warriors’ system to operate at as high a level as it does. And for some reason, he’s criticized for that because I think we just don’t really have the words to understand what kind of impact that is.”
Gottlieb also spoke to the fact that Curry’s passing and off-ball movement create opportunities which are effectively assists, but not rewarded as such. Listen to the full interview below and read Gottlieb’s article explaining his conclusion here.