We like to deem the NBA’s best player as the best player in the world. Given the Association’s elite standing in the landscape of basketball worldwide, it only makes sense.
LeBron James earned that title during his current era as the league’s best player, especially as he tallied up his ring count with the Heat from 2012-2013 with Olympic gold medals to match. But the league’s current phenomenon is Steph Curry, the catalyst and maestro of one of the most exciting teams in NBA history. Winning MVP and an NBA title last season brought Steph into that formal phase of elitism, and he multiplied that momentum to start this season.
— Basketball Society (@BBallSociety_) November 13, 2015
Despite the Cavs being significantly short-handed in the 2015 Finals, Steph stood toe-to-toe with LeBron James and beat him. That’s no small feat, especially considering the gargantuan individual performance LeBron displayed. My question is this — has Steph Curry now also earned the reigns as the world’s best player? And if not, what would make that notion undisputed?
— Basketball Society (@BBallSociety_) November 7, 2015
A vague but significant piece of criteria for this title, in my opinion, has to include the functionality of Team USA. This is what I think you have to ask yourself in regards to the world’s best player — when the NBA’s best talent convenes for an Olympic run, who is the focal point? Has Steph earned the right to supersede LeBron in that regard? I certainly think he’s earned the respect, but in this sense, I still see LeBron as the primary go-through player on that worldly scale. Overall, he still possesses the most dominant presence.
I believe there is one particular thing Steph can do to solidify himself as the world’s best player. If he faces LeBron and the Cavs again in the Finals, especially if Cleveland is fully healthy, and Curry beats LeBron in a rematch, not only would he have to be regarded as the world’s best player, but this would officially become his era.