NBA legend Rick Barry: there’s no way to guard Steph Curry

rick-barryStephen Curry is arguably the best player in the NBA right now – this is the mostly commonly used assessment of his game. Many former NBA players agree that there has never been quite anyone in the league like Curry.

NBA legend Rick Barry also praises Curry, and doesn’t understand why some of his other fellow NBA legends, like Oscar Robertson, don’t.

“I’ve never seen anybody shoot the ball from the distance that he can shoot it, and with the confidence that he has,” Barry said on Mighty 1090 AM in San Diego. “He’s really a remarkable player, and I’m astounded that anybody can say anything truly negative about Steph Curry. I really don’t know what there is to say negative … what can you say? He plays good defense. He can pass the ball … he’s turned himself into a great, great basketball player. And he’s so much fun to watch.”

Further speaking of Oscar Robertson’s opinion on Curry, which wasn’t anything positive, Barry had this to say:

“I love Oscar. I have a great relationship with Oscar. But I would have to disagree with Oscar in this respect: There is no way you can guard Steph Curry. You think the other teams aren’t trying to move up and do things to him? If you don’t pick him up and stay right with him at halfcourt, you have no chance to guard him. If you don’t switch screens and stay up on him, you have no chance.”

“And even then, he can take you and make you look bad. Look how many guys he’s made almost fall down on the court because he gets them so screwed up – the things he does and the great ball-handling and the ability to step back and get the shot off so quickly,” said Barry.

“I don’t know what Oscar was thinking. He’s entitled to his opinion, but in this case, I totally disagree with Oscar,” he continued.

Isiah Thomas, who is a Hall of Famer and considered one of the best point guards of all time, said Curry was good in the times when league wasn’t up to the standards.

“We’ve never seen anybody shoot the basketball this way in our league. However, we’ve never seen perimeter defense this poorly in our league, either. And that’s not to take anything away from Steph…”

Barry in turn said that wasn’t a valid argument.

“I don’t buy that either. I mean seriously, does Isiah actually think coaches are saying, ‘OK, we’re not gonna guard Steph or Klay on the perimeter?’ Are you frickin’ kidding me? I mean come on, coaches aren’t stupid. That’s crazy. The difference is there’s never been a player like Steph Curry. Back in those days, and as good as Isiah was with the basketball, Isiah pales in comparison to what Steph can do,” he said.

“Steph can get his shot against anybody almost at any time. What you do with Steph, you just have to make him work harder. But he can do so many things because he can go to the basket, he can finish at the basket, he’s a great free throw shooter. So what do you do against this guy? You just pray. You pray he’s having an off night because you can’t stop him,” said Barry.

“I don’t understand what guys are coming up with,” Barry added. “These comments. I mean, why? Why would they want to do that? Why would you want to take something away from a guy who’s turned himself into a great basketball player?”

Named one of the 50 Greatest Players in history by the NBA in 1996, Barry is the only player to lead the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), ABA and NBA in scoring for an individual season. In 1987, Barry was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Barry holds career averages of 30.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg playing in the ABA, appearing in 226 games. In the NBA, Barry played 794 games, averaging 23.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg and 5.1 apg.

Barry’s combined statistics for both NBA and ABA are: 1020 games, 24.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 4.9 apg in 37.4 mpg. He won the NBA championship with Golden State Warriors in 1974-75 season. He was also a 4-time ABA All-Star and 8-time NBA All-Star.


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