Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet credits NBA superstar Stephen Curry for making it possible for him to be in the league today.
Stephen Curry is known as the greatest shooter the game has ever seen since its inception. In fact, the 2x MVP recently passed Ray Allen for the most 3-pointers in NBA history, and he did so in 789 games compared to Ray Allen’s 1300.
Stephen Curry has influenced the game of basketball so much over the last few years. As a result, it has now turned into a three-point shooting league. More and more players extended their game out to the perimeter. As a result, guards are more valuable than ever before.
One person who benefitted from this change of playstyle is Raptors’ guard Fred VanVleet. Recently, the 27-year-old guard acknowledged Stephen Curry’s impact on the game. Furthermore, he even claimed that Stephen Curry “made it possible” for him to be in the NBA.
“He’s made it possible for me to be in the NBA.”
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) December 17, 2021
Fred VanVleet gives Stephen Curry his flowers for making it possible for him to be in the NBA.
Fred VanVleet’s story is something straight out of a movie. Despite going undrafted in the 2016 NBA draft, the Toronto Raptors took a chance with the 6’1 guard. And Oh Boy, did it pay off.
Fred VanVleet made himself a household name in Toronto over the next few years and in the 2019 playoffs, his exceptional performance for the Raptors helped the franchise claim its first ever championship.
However, the 1x NBA champion credits Stephen Curry’s influence on the game as the reason for him having an NBA career. He goes on to say –
“He made it possible for me to be in the NBA first and foremost, with the 3PT shot being where it is. I’m not sure my career would look the same if I wasn’t allowed to take the 3s I’m allowed to take and work on my game that way to be able to expand my game.”
“I remember being in college, me and my assistant coach Greg Heiar would watch their games. We’d study his film, and we would go work out and see how we could implement some of those things.”
“Obviously, he’s got a special gift in terms of shooting the ball. But he’s much more than that as a player. I study all the greats and Steph is definitely one of those guys that I’ve taken a lot from.”
“He’s the guy for any kid.”
Fred VanVleet on how Steph Curry has impacted the next generation of ballers pic.twitter.com/taY94XIT14
— Yahoo Sports Canada (@YahooCASports) December 16, 2021
It is a nice touch to see Fred VanVleet give the Warriors star his flowers. For all we know, VanVleet would not have become the player we know and love today without Steph Curry’s influence on the league.
Also Read: “Stephen Curry is the greatest shooter in history, Kevin Durant is the greatest scorer in history”: Stephen A Smith and Jay Williams argue over which of the two MVPs is having a better season
The 27-year-old is having an excellent season, averaging 19.5 points and 6.5 assists, and 5.0 rebounds per game this season. Moreover, he is shooting an excellent 38.9% from beyond the arc this season.
Barring injury, there’s no reason why Fred VanVleet will not make an All-Star game in the next few years.