ABC analyst Mark Jackson is taking heat from fans, players and media in the wake of comments during Friday’s telecast that reigning MVP Stephen Curry has “hurt the game” because of his shooting prowess. Jackson, who coached the Warriors before being replaced by Steve Kerr prior to last year’s championship season, theorizes that young players are too focused on trying to shoot like Curry rather than developing their all-around talents.
This is the complete quote from Jackson, as reported by Marissa Payne of The Washington Post: “Steph Curry’s great. Steph Curry’s the MVP. He’s a champion. Understand what I’m saying when I say this. To a degree, he’s hurt the game. And what I mean by that is I go into these high school gyms, I watch these kids and the first thing they do is run to the 3-point line. You are not Steph Curry. Work on the other aspects of the game.”
Jackson’s broadcast partner, Jeff Van Gundy, also a former NBA coach, came to Curry’s defense, saying, “Those shots that he takes, if some high school joker takes them, and it’s allowed by their coach, shame on them.” Sam Moses, an AAU coach in the Oakland area, tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports that Curry is a “perfect role model,” adding, “If a kid comes in and says they want to be like Steph, they talk about ball-handling more than his 3-ball. He gets to the basket more than he shoots 3-pointers. You would think kids just want to work on the long ball, but they’re working on their dribbling.”
After Friday’s game, Curry expressed confusion about the comments from his former coach. “I have to talk to him,” Curry said. “I don’t know what he means by that. If you can shoot, shoot. If you can’t, stop.”
This brings me to the topic for today: Does Curry’s remarkable shooting actually “hurt the game” because of its influence on young players? And are there other current or former players you can say the same thing about?
For decades, youths on playgrounds or in high school gyms have been dreaming about dunking like Michael Jordan, passing like “Magic” Johnson, blocking shots like Hakeem Olajuwon, rebounding like Moses Malone or handling the ball like Pete Maravich. When youngsters see their favorite players with an exceptional skill, it’s natural for them to try and copy it. Does that limit their overall development? Does Jackson have a legitimate point, or is he is speaking out of bitterness over how his tenure in Golden State ended?
Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on the matter. We look forward to what you have to say.