Rather than complimenting the Golden State Warriors for their success and finding good things to say about their star player Stephen Curry, former Warriors coach Mark Jackson continues to find negative things to say. When talking about Stephen Curry while calling the Warriors-Cavaliers game, Jackson said:
"Steph Curry's great. Steph Curry's the MVP. He's a champion. Understand what I'm saying when I say this. To a degree, he's hurting the game. And what I mean by that is that I go into these high school gyms, I watch these kids, and the first thing they do is they run to the 3-point line. You are not Steph Curry. Work on the other aspects of the game. People think that he's just a knock-down shooter."
While there may be a grain of truth in what Mark Jackson is saying, as a whole, what he's saying is idiotic. What makes it idiotic is that he is acting as if Stephen Curry is the first NBA player young kids have tried to emulate. In addition, he is also absolving coaches of any responsibility when it comes to coaching their players.
I grew up playing basketball as a kid. I played throughout my youth and even when I kept getting cut from my high school basketball team, I still kept finding ways to play. I know what it's like to be a kid learning the game of a basketball while simultaneously idolizing those who play in the NBA. As a kid, you try to play like the pros. You see an amazing shot on Sports Center and then you go into your backyard and try to replicate that same shot. All kids learning the game of basketball do it and they've been doing it since they've been able to watch the NBA on television in the early 1980s.
I grew up as a kid in the 1990s, so the guys who I tried to emulate were Michael Jordan, John Stockton, Karl Malone, Latrell Sprewell, Shawn Kemp, etc. I remember playing one-on-one with my next-door neighbor when I was 8 years old. I was the Utah Jazz and he was the Chicago Bulls. We would play the Space Jam soundtrack as we played and we thought we were so cool. Hell, I remember trying to replicate Rex Chapman's falling-out-of-bounds shot to force overtime against the Sonics in the first round of the 1997 NBA playoffs!
When I was a kid, the NBA already existed as a great source for bad habits and ill-advised play. Stephen Curry is just another great basketball player who kids try to emulate without success. If Mark Jackson wants to blame the NBA for teaching kids bad fundamentals, I'm totally on board with that. They let guys get away with traveling; they don't always exhibit classic fundamentals, etc. But, to single out Stephen Curry and make it sound like he single-handedly is responsible for all the bad habits that kids are developing on a basketball court is absurd. To say that he is "hurting the game" is even more absurd.
Stephen Curry is one of the best things to ever happen to the game of basketball. He's revolutionized the game and in all reality sets a good example for kids as opposed to a bad example. The guys who set a bad example for kids are the guys who can't hit their free throws and only score by throwing down dunks (E.g. DeAndre Jordan).
Stephen Curry scores in so many ways, hits his foul shots, and is one of the most fundamentally sound players the game has ever seen. Provided you tell kids that they can't get away with chucking up ridiculous shots, Stephen Curry can actually serve as a good player for kids to try to model their games after. Curry highlights the value of having good technique and that is what every kid should strive to have.