Lefty Driesell coached for parts of six decades in college basketball. He earned 13 appearances in the NCAA Tournament, making it as far as the Sweet 16 eight times.
While acting as Maryland’s head coach, Driesell recruited the likes of Len Elmore, John Lucas, Buck Williams, and Len Bias, all of whom played under him with the Terps. Heck, Driesell originated the nationwide tradition of Midnight Madness.
So when Driesell speaks about the game that he helped shape, we should listen.
Talking about a wide array of basketball-related topics, the Hall of Fame head coach made a pretty alarming claim regarding reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry:
“I’m going to tell you, I don’t know much about anything but basketball,” Driesell said, via CSN Mid-Atlantic. “I’m saying right now with the rules like they are — you can’t discount (Bill) Russell and (Bob) Cousy because they didn’t have a three-point shot — but I think he’s the best player of all-time.”
We aren’t entirely sure why Lefty decided to ignore Michael Jordan here, but that could have something to do with the fact that the now 84-year-old former head coach played college ball at Duke.
Speaking of bias, it’s also important to note that Driesell coached Curry’s alma mater, Davidson, from 1960-1969.
In any event, it’s way too early to conclude that Curry is the greatest of all-time. That statement entails way too many factors to include a player that is just 27 years old and is about to appear in only his third All-Star game.
We can, however, logically conclude that Curry might be the greatest shooter of all-time. That’s an opinion that was repeated by former NBA MVP Steve Nash last year. It’s also an opinion that could be based on fact.
After all, Curry boasts the two top spots in terms of three pointers made in a season, breaking his previous NBA record last season.
Through just 50 games this year, Curry has already made the 10th-most threes in Association history. In fact, he’s on pace to best his previous record by nearly 100 threes — a total that would be 116 more than any other player in NBA history.
Still, it’s incredibly premature to conclude that Curry is the best of all-time. We might want to wait until he wins two or three more titles before even mentioning him among the best.
At the very least, this just goes to show us how much Curry’s game is respected around the basketball world. If he keeps up at his current pace, there will be a time when any comparisons to the game’s best will be justified.