Buzzer-beaters are the ultimate encapsulation of basketball skill. Stephen Curry is the most skilled player today, but his highlight reel lacks one.
Stephen Curry broke all kinds of records through the course of an exhilarating 2020-21 regular season campaign. The 2-time MVP was returning from an injury break that lasted through practically all of 2019-20.
He put up perhaps the most impressive regular season campaign of his career, winning his second scoring title in the process. Curry was good for an average of 32 points per game on 48% shooting from the field and 42% on 3-pointers.
While Nikola Jokic won a richly deserved MVP award for his outstanding season, there were points when Curry looked downright like a different breed of a basketball player.
He saw all kinds of coverages through the course of the year. Teams fruitlessly threw double- and triple-teams at him while he swished shots coming off screens 30 feet away. Even the box-and-one was barely enough to contain him on several instances last year.
Curry remains the perfect point guard for the modern era of basketball with his uptempo style of play. With Klay Thompson returning next year, the Warriors look primed to take on the Murderers’ Row that is the Western Conference.
Stephen Curry is the only active MVP to not hit a buzzer-beating game winner
Yes, you did read that right. One of Mike Breen’s all-time famous ‘Bang!’ calls came when Curry hit the eventual game-winner against the OKC Thunder in February 2016. But that shot did leave 0.5 seconds on the shot clock, as the Hall of Fame announcer noted at the time.
It seems inconceivable, but it is true that none of Curry’s career game-winners have come with the game clock expiring. Every other MVP currently playing in the NBA has iconic shots as the game’s final buzzer sounds.
LeBron James leads the NBA all-time in playoff buzzer-beaters. James Harden hit one against the Phoenix Suns in his early Houston years. Jokic hit one against the Dallas Mavericks in 2018-19.
Derrick Rose had the famous game-winner against the Cavs in the 2015 NBA playoffs. KD and Westbrook have both hit buzzer-beaters for the win during their OKC tenures.
This leaves Giannis, whose buzzer-beater against the Knicks might be the least famous of the aforementioned clips.
NBA Reddit has had a field day discussing this extremely unusual piece of trivia.