Weeks after New York Knicks president Phil Jackson drew a comparison between reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry and former high-level scorer Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, the Golden State Warriors point guard addressed the Zen Master's observation following his team's 121-85 drubbing of the Knicks on Wednesday night.
According to ESPN.com's Ian Begley, Curry said he saw some resemblance between his game and Abdul-Rauf's after Jackson's comments sent him in search of highlights:
I actually went and watched YouTube highlights of (Abdul-Rauf) at LSU. I really never watched his game before. It helped my basketball knowledge a little bit. There are some similarities for sure. I watched one game – he had 40-something on the road. He had that thrust in transition, pulling up from 3, getting in the paint. I didn't know much about his game. I knew who he was. I watched three YouTube videos and kept it moving.
Here's footage of Abdul-Rauf in action versus Jackson's Bulls:
After his original tweet set the Internet ablaze, Jackson provided a follow-up message to clarify things and confirm he wasn't placing the two players on the same level:
Phil Jackson @PhilJackson11
How does commenting on Rauf mean I'm comparing him to Curry? Remind, yes, quick release, cross over, Yep, MVP, nope. Get a grip!2016-2-29 14:19:32
But as Jackson learned the hard way, making cross-generational comparisons involving the Warriors—no matter how innocent they may seem—can quickly draw the ire of NBA observers.
Curry and the Warriors are in the process of redefining how fans watch basketball, how coaches scheme against modern offenses and how teams choose to deploy personnel, so trying to compare players and teams of the past to such unique trendsetters remains a futile pursuit.
|Curry vs. Abdul-Rauf Career Stats (Through March 15)|
|Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (9 seasons)||8,553||44.2||35.4||474||15.4|
|Stephen Curry (7 seasons)||10,632||47.7||44.4||1,513||23.1|
It would also be prudent to stray from comparisons to Curry's esteemed historical peers—no matter how tempting it may be—considering he's just entering his prime at 28 years old.
With his story still being written on one of the most dominant teams the NBA has ever seen, Curry has plenty of time to carve out legendary real estate and wow observers in ways that never seemed possible.