Reggie Miller Comments on Comparisons to Steph Curry, Warriors' Success

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIDecember 10, 2015

Reggie Miller gestures to the crowd before the start of the world welterweight championship bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Manny Pacquiao, on Saturday, May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

Indiana Pacers legend Reggie Miller saw the Stephen Curry-led Golden State Warriors score 79 first-half points en route to a win over his old team Tuesday.

Comparisons have emerged between Miller and Curry since both are among the best three-point shooters in NBA history. But Miller emphasized in comments to the New Yorker's Charles Bethea that the Warriors must continue to play their brand of basketball and not force the ball to their biggest star.

"They shouldn't ask him to take shots outside of their system," said Miller. "What makes them great is ball movement and man movement. For him to jack shots up for the sake of jacking them up, that would be against who they are."

Miller also called Curry one of the better shooters the game has ever seen, even with so many seasons ahead for the 27-year-old phenom:

He still has a lot of chapters to write, but, right now, you could certainly consider him among the top five shooters of all time. The streak that Steph has been on since last season rivals the greats of the game. It's hard to say he's better than Larry Bird or he's better than Steve Kerr, his coach, because those guys did it for much longer. But for this short a period he's in that group. And he keeps improving. If he can beat his own record for most threes in a season, then you've got to consider him one of the best ever.

The Warriors' 23-0 start has seen Curry serve as the catalyst with ridiculous precision and offensive efficiency. He's averaging 32.2 points per contest, shooting 52.9 percent from the field and 46.3 percent from deep on an average of 11.2 attempts per game from beyond the arc.

Nevertheless, the competitor in Miller believes he was better than Curry during his heyday.

"All truly great shooters—Dale Ellis, Larry Bird, Craig Hodges, Chris Mullin—we always believed that we were the best shooters in the world," said Miller. "So, yeah, I'd take down Steph at my peak. Sure, my form wasn't as good as his. But it's all about results, man."

Vinny Del Negro of NBA TV, who also played in the Association and coached the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers, weighed in on Curry's skills and mentioned Miller as one of the greatest:

Curry is making a compelling case as the NBA's best active player, something Miller couldn't lay claim to in the Michael Jordan era. Speaking of Jordan, Curry hasn't been shy about his aspirations to eclipse the six-time NBA champion as the best player of all time.

How Curry carries himself despite immense success as a reigning NBA champion and MVP award recipient is a sign of the change in times, according to Miller.

"You don't have to be like Mike anymore," Miller told Bethea. "You know, Mike was an assh--e. I was an assh--e, too. But you don't have to be an assh--e to be successful. Steph is living proof."

According to Bethea, Miller guaranteed the Pacers would beat the Warriors on Tuesday, but the mild-mannered modern myth of a man in Curry responded by guiding Golden State to a 131-123 victory at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

As Miller intimated, though, there are still years to go before Curry's final legacy is written. In this microwave era of social media and instant gratification, it's easy to want to crown someone as an all-time great right away.

Bear in mind Curry's thrilling, unique style of play will be on display for numerous years to come, health permitting. Scary as it sounds for opponents, he does have room to improve despite his current mind-boggling prowess as a perimeter shooter.

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