Walt Frazier Doesn't Think Stephen Curry Will Sustain Level of Play

Mike Norris@@MikeNorrisBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 3, 2016

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) celebrates with teammate Anderson Varejao, right, after hitting the game-winning shot in overtime of an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Oklahoma City, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. Golden State won 121-118. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Add Hall of Famer Walt Frazier to the list of former NBA players who think Stephen Curry's game is overrated.

Speaking on ESPN Radio's Mike and Mike on Thursday morning (h/t CSNBayArea.com), Frazier, who averaged 18.9 points, 6.1 assists and 5.9 rebounds per game in his 13-year career, said there is one main reason the Golden State Warriors guard is so successful:

There's no comparison because of the 3-ball, man. Former players, I never had an opportunity for the 3-ball ... if there was no 3-ball shot, would we be talking about the greatness of Curry today? What has made him great is his ability, uncanny ability, to shoot from 30 feet, 35 feet, the accuracy that he has shown in making that particular shot.

Curry, who leads the NBA in scoring with 30.7 points per game, benefits from the three-point line. He shoots 46.8 percent from downtown and has already broken his own NBA single-season three-point record with more than 20 games left to play this year.

Frazier said Curry's game would suffer if there were no three-point line:

Yeah, but it would be a little more difficult because now you have to use penetration. You can't handcheck these guys anymore. But now if you're looking for twos, you can be a little more physical than threes, because threes, guys are just hanging out behind the arc...

This is the other thing guys -- my forte was defense ... any phenomenal player, I had to guard that guy. So when I'm guarding these guys, I'm trying to take away what they do best. So today, if I'm guarding Curry, he might have 25 2s on me, but he's not gonna have 13 3s because I'm gonna be forcing him inside of the arc.

So this is what the former players are saying: How do you let a guy continue to do what he does, and you know what he's trying to do is make the 3-point shot?

However, Curry has proved this year he can do more than score. His 6.6 assists per contest are tied for 10th in the league, and his 2.1 steals are tied for fourth. He also adds 5.3 rebounds per game for good measure. But Clyde doesn't believe he can sustain this level of play:

To me, this is where Curry is. He's having that phenomenal season, a signature season, but is he gonna do this for the next five years? I don't really think so. So I don't know if he'll ever reach this level again. So this is what he's doing now, maybe they won't be able to stop him this year, but they'll have to find a way to contain this guy like they've done Kobe, like they're doing LeBron, like they've done all the other superstars in the league.

Co-host Mike Golic said former NBA players criticizing Curry (including Charles Barkley and Oscar Robertson) need to "get a clue":

Golic and Wingo @GolicAndWingo

Golic got fed up today with the constant criticism of Steph Curry. WATCH: https://t.co/RQhexMCxKf

No matter what anyone says, there is no doubt that Curry is on his way to claiming his second straight MVP award. The Warriors (54-5) are on pace to break the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls' record of 72 regular-season victories and win the NBA title for the second year in a row.

The former players can talk, but Curry is doing his best to silence his doubters.