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Stephen Curry Responds to Mark Jackson's Claim He's 'Hurting the Game'

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistDecember 26, 2015

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 31:  Head coach Mark Jackson and Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors confer in the game with the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on October 31, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. The Clippers won 126-115.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Former Golden State Warriors head coach and current NBA analyst Mark Jackson set the basketball world ablaze Friday when he asserted reigning MVP Stephen Curry is "hurting the game" of basketball due to the influence his long-range shooting has on younger players, but the Dubs point guard seemed confounded by the comments following his team's Christmas Day win. 

"I have to talk to him," Curry said, according to Yahoo Sports' Marc Spears. "I don't know what he means by that. If you can shoot, shoot. If you can't, stop."

During the broadcast of Friday's 2015 NBA Finals rematch between the Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers on ABC, Jackson discussed the way he believes Curry is hindering the development of aspiring ballers. 

 Jackson said, according to CBS Sports

To a degree, he's hurting the game. And what I mean by that is I go into these high school gyms, I watch these kids and the first thing they do is run to the three-point line. You are not Steph Curry. Work on your other aspects of the game. People think that he's just a knockdown shooter. That's not why he's the MVP. He's a complete basketball player.

To Jackson's point, Curry is a complete player who has committed tremendous time and energy to honing every aspect of his arsenal. While he's knocking down 44.5 percent of his triples on 10.4 long-range attempts per game, Curry is also slicing and dicing defenses inside the arc. 

Stephen Curry's 2015-16 Shot Chart
Stephen Curry's 2015-16 Shot ChartCredit: NBA.com/Stats

Curry is shooting a career-best 58.8 percent on two-point field goals. He's also converting an outrageous 57.3 percent of his drives, per NBA player-tracking data, which makes him the league's most efficient scorer on such plays (minimum five drives per night). 

And at the crux of Curry's three-point effectiveness is his handle. The league's premier marksman consistently frees up space for open shots by taking defenders off the dribble, and he's knocking down a wicked 39.1 percent of his pull-up treys to date, according to NBA player-tracking data

However, it remains a bit of a stretch to say Curry is hurting the game just because young players want to emulate his immaculate skill. 

"He is a special player, a special talent, a special person more than anything, and I think it's great for our league," LeBron James said, per Spears.

Curry epitomizes the NBA's pace-and-space era with his long-range theatrics, and the way he's stunned crowds and inspired up-and-coming hoopers has made him one of the faces the Association can be proud of. 

And if that means kids will try jacking up a few more threes as they develop, that's hardly the worst thing.  

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