Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry called it "special" to pass Hall of Fame center Wilt Chamberlain to become the team's all-time leading scorer.
Curry passed Chamberlain in the first quarter of Monday night's 116-107 win over the Denver Nuggets. He scored 53 points to finish the night with 17,818 for his career. Chamberlain tallied 17,783 during his time with the Dubs.
Curry has played his entire 12-year NBA career with the Warriors since being selected with the seventh overall pick in the 2009 draft. Chamberlain spent six seasons with the club while it was in Philadelphia and San Francisco, highlighted by winning the 1960 NBA MVP Award.
The 33-year-old Ohio native Curry later expanded on his thoughts about passing one of the greatest players in basketball history on the Warriors all-time list. He told reporters:
"It's crazy. Any time you hear his
name, it's kind of daunting because you know his records are so hard
"I can't remember how many games he played as a Warrior, and how many I've played, but to be anywhere near him in any record book or now be on top, it's surreal, and it's wild. Because if you grow up in the game of basketball and you hear his name, you know it's something extremely special, no matter what it is."
Golden State head coach Steve Kerr believes the franchise will have to find a special way to honor Curry, much like the Dallas Mavericks have done with Dirk Nowitzki:
"When you play in Dallas now, when you look on the floor, there's a silhouette of Dirk [Nowitzki] shooting his signature fadeaway on each end of the floor. And I love that; I thought it was a really great idea from the Mavericks. It's such a great way to sort of honor Dirk and remember his legacy. I imagine there will be something like that here. Maybe a picture of Steph like holding his mouthpiece or something."
The contrast between Curry and Chamberlain shows how much the game has evolved over the decades.
Previously dominated by post players, now the NBA is led by guards who can do everything from run the offense to score off the dribble or knock down outside shots, while bigs like Nikola Jokic and Zion Williamson are taking on ball-handling duties with frontcourt frames.
Curry explained he does occasionally think about how his style of play helped revolutionize the game:
"A little bit. But I think, for me, it's always been one of those situations where it's much more productive to look forward, stay in the moment, but look forward to what else I want to accomplish. I understand the game has changed a lot. I understand I've had a huge part in that. It's not for me to come up here and try to articulate that. It's just playing basketball and enjoying what I get to do every day, and that's why I think good things keep happening, because I try to embrace what's next. Who I get to go hoop with every day and the challenges of each season."
The seven-time All-Star and three-time NBA champion now sits 81st on the league's all-time scoring list. The next player he'll pass is another former Warriors star, Chris Mullin (17,911).
Golden State returns to action Wednesday when it visits Chesapeake Energy Arena to face off with the Oklahoma City Thunder.