Stephen Curry’s bombs are one of sports’ great wonders
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I’ve often wondered who the first coach was to tell Stephen Curry it was a good idea to shoot 35-foot jumpers.
It took guts, foresight and a healthy helping of craziness to dismiss decades of basketball wisdom that insisted loooooooong shots were bad shots. Well, sure, we look at the Warriors’ star now and think you’d have to be an idiot not to see his range. But it’s another thing to allow him to use it.
Many of the shots he takes would get most players benched. Every time he shoots from the basketball equivalent of Sri Lanka, I hear a high school coach blowing a whistle in practice and yelling, “If you ever shoot from there again, you’ll be running sprints until you drop.’’
But thankfully, someone must have seen Curry hitting from all over the court as he shot around one day and had one of those aha moments. It must have been how the first human to discover fire felt. Both involved a hot hand.
On shots from between 28 and 43 feet in the regular season (the three-point arc is 23 feet, nine inches), Curry was 47 of 92, or 51.1 percent, according to basketball-reference.com. That’s in real games. With people trying to guard him. Just so we’re perfectly clear, not while playing H-O-R-S-E.
Curry has what we used to call a push shot – not a full-grown jump shot that most players develop in high school. I used to think that made what he accomplished stunning. Then I realized his ability to get off a shot without jumping much is part of the reason for his success. The other part? He makes those shots, the ones few people can.
Whoever understood that first was a very smart guy.