Everyone says they are annoyed by the NBA GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) talk, including players themselves, but as always, when one gets to talking or someone gets asked for a take, it simply gets going. Discussions about position GOATs aren’t an exception too.
In this case, it all started with Stephen Curry’s appearance at the Gil’s Arena podcast last August 21st. The ever-outspoken host and retired NBA veteran, Gilbert Arenas, asked the Golden State Warriors superstar a question, perhaps hoping to get a hot quote, and he sure did.
“Are you the best point guard ever?” Arenas threw out with a smirk on his face. Curry thought about it for a second before he gave in and said:
“Yes. It’s me and Magic — that’s the conversation?
Obviously, I have to answer it that way. To your point, Magic’s resume is ridiculous. The fact that we’re even having that conversation is a place I never thought I would be in.
That’s why we have the conversations — because it’s fun measuring eras against each other. I love it. That’s what basketball and sports is all about. That’s why people watch. That’s why people get in heated debates about it. I love it. Put me on my own team, I’m going to rep myself for sure.”
Whatever way you feel about Curry’s career and how he handled the question, remember that he has the resume to claim the GOAT PG throne. Check out his long list of accolades below, and note that it doesn’t even include his runaway top rank for three-point field goals since it’s still going up.
- 4× NBA champion (2015, 2017, 2018, 2022)
- NBA Finals MVP (2022)
- 2× NBA Most Valuable Player (2015, 2016)
- 9× NBA All-Star (2014–2019, 2021–2023)
- NBA All-Star Game MVP (2022)
- 4× All-NBA First Team (2015, 2016, 2019, 2021), 4× All-NBA Second Team (2014, 2017, 2022, 2023), 1x All-NBA Third Team (2018)
- 2× NBA scoring champion (2016, 2021)
- NBA 75th Anniversary Team
That’s a pretty stacked deck of achievements, one that you can pit against anyone. However, if there’s one dude who can deservingly challenge any GOAT PG claim, it’s obviously Magic Johnson, hence the inclusion and quick disclaimer by Steph himself.
It took more than a month for someone to directly ask Magic for a response, but when someone finally did, the Los Angeles Lakers legend gave a blunt answer.
“Does the number say that [Curry is the GOAT PG]? If he’s got more than 5 championships, more than 3 Finals MVPs, 3 league MVPs, #1 assists all time in the Finals then he’s the greatest… but the last time I checked, he doesn’t.”
By that standards, the 35-year-old Curry has some work to do: two championships, three finals MVPs, two league MVPs, and, as of 2023, 361 assists in the NBA finals.
How is GOAT PG measured, though?
That’s the question we have to answer first—sort of like the MVP debate—is it really the most valuable player for a particular team or the best player on one of the best teams that season?
If it’s from a standpoint of playing the point guard role, you have to be inclined to say Magic because he was a basketball court maestro like no other—PG skills, stats, and accolades will tell you that. If, however, we just look at it as to who played the best while at the point guard position, it will get a little trickier, and there’s no denying Curry has a strong case because of how superior he is in shooting and being a go-to scorer.
It’s a long debate, but one thing’s for sure: the season couldn’t come any sooner.