Kurtenbach: The pure joy of watching Steph Curry transcends any 3-point record

Records are made to be broken.

And just as Steph Curry will break Ray Allen’s NBA all-time 3-pointers record in due time — perhaps as soon as Wednesday’s game with the Portland Trail Blazers at Chase Center — someone will break Curry’s record.

Of course, Curry will add hundreds more 3-pointers to the current record 2,973. Perhaps even thousands. At 33 years old, he’s playing the best basketball of his career and shooting more 3-pointers than ever.

Regardless, the record will not stand forever. Perhaps the person who breaks his record — wherever it might finish — has not been born yet. But it will fall.

Curry’s position as the greatest shooter who ever lived might not go down with it.

That’s because not only is Curry prolific, he is also fantastic.

Warriors general manager Bob Myers put it best in a recent interview on local sports talk radio station KNBR:

“Maya Angelou has a great quote, she says ‘People will forget what you did, they’ll forget what you said, but they won’t forget how you made them feel,’” Myers said.

“As far as how he makes people feel, tell me somebody that makes people feel more.”

Not a one.

Everybody in the NBA is shooting 3-pointers these days. You can blame Curry for that. A few folks in the league even try to match Curry’s style of play. More will come down the pipeline.

But no one is as entertaining as No. 30.

And the way he’s made us feel — not just about the 3-point shot, but the game itself — and the joy he has provided is a legacy that will stand longer than any record, even this one.

Curry is a phenomenon, and America’s fascination with his unique style of basketball started well before he entered the NBA.

You can be honest: Had you ever heard of Davidson College before Curry made the Wildcats must-see TV in March of 2008? Curry scored 40 points against Gonzaga in the first round of that year’s NCAA Tournament. Then he dropped 30 on Georgetown. Another 33 for Wisconsin. It wasn’t until he ran into Kansas and had a 25-point night that Davidson’s incredible run was stopped.

But Curry put himself on the map.

Plenty thought Curry’s NCAA run was a short-lived moment for a sharpshooting kid from a small school. It was fun, but to be a game-changer, you need to be bigger, stronger, and faster.

Curry was none of the above.

But more than a decade later, Curry is still creating fun at a level no one can match.

The sport is more aesthetically pleasing because of Curry. Say what you will about the 3-point shot, but it has created a more open, athletic game.

It’s more inclusive because of Curry. If you can dribble and shoot, you have a place. The biggest and strongest still dominate, but skill is the most important attribute a basketball player can have these days.

In short, the sport is stronger because of Curry and all his 3-pointers.

What’s most amazing to me?

The Warriors guard took a basketball certainty and made it untrue.

Ask anyone a few years ago what was more exciting — a dunk or a 3-point shot? — and nine out of 10 respondents would have said “dunk”.

Now? It’s 50-50 at best. Honestly, the 3-pointer might be winning out.

It’s that moment of anticipation with the 3-pointer that makes it so captivating. As the ball flies through the air, there’s just enough time to wonder “Is that going in?”

Sports are inherently meaningless, so we create meaning by anchoring. Everything in the game is expectations going up against reality.

What did you think was going to happen? What did happen? Express outrage or happiness accordingly.

And Curry challenged fans, broadcasters, defenses, and coaches (even his own) in ways that no one ever had before and no one has since.

Curry might have the quickest shooting stroke in the game, but so often, his shot comes off-balance and out of rhythm. His ball-handling ability allows him to get anywhere he wants on the floor, but because he’s often the smallest player on the court, he’s putting up shots that look like desperation heaves.

Even after more than a decade, there’s still a smidge of doubt inherent in so many of Curry’s shots.

He’s 30 feet away, his shoulders are askew, and his window to shoot is minuscule.

There’s no way a shot like that would go in, you think, as he puts up an attempt that no one else in the league would dare take.

And yet, almost as often as not, it rips through the net, creating a sound unique to No. 30.

What else can you do but be happy? How often have you simply giggled watching Curry — a father of three making more than half a million per game — play this game?

Days after Curry was triple-teamed by Kansas and a Davidson teammate missed a last-second 3-pointer to send the Wildcats to the Final Four, Curry went on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien”.

“This has been the greatest three weeks of my life. I’ve been on a ride and I’ll ride it as long as I can,” Curry told the talk show host.

Coming up on fourteen years later, it’s fair to say Curry is still on the ride.

There have been some bumps along the way. Early struggles, injuries, and postseason heartbreak, but also two MVPs (one unanimous), the greatest regular season of all time, three titles, and a place as one of the greatest players of all time.

We’ve been lucky to be along for the ride, too.

And the best part: It’s not nearly done.

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