The NBA world has recently become obsessed with another “Which player is better than the other?” question. The LeBron vs. MJ argument will last a lifetime. But the most recent installment in the hypothetical arena includes two of the most prolific players of the decade: Steph Curry and James Harden.
Here’s the quick answer: Steph can’t do what Harden does, and Harden can’t do what Steph does. Both of them chuck 3’s and have been the benefactors of the ultimate green light thanks to their forward thinking coaches in Steve Kerr and Mike D’Antoni.
However, there is one thing that separates the two: the Fear Factor. If you’re a fan of a team going against one of these guys, who are you more scared of when they’re on the floor? Whether they have the ball in their hands or are running off screens to get open? As a Harden worshipper, it’s difficult for me to say this, but the answer is Curry by a long shot.
The amount of anxiety that Steph has instilled in me over the last half decade as a LeBronunist is unmatched (only Warriors KD ever reaches Curry’s level). His range is deeper than Hawkeye from the Marvel Universe, his accuracy is pinpoint, and in the simplest of terms: he’s hands down the greatest shooter of all-time. PLUS: He can get his shot off from anywhere on anyone.
Don’t get me wrong, Harden’s ability to get to the basket and/or draw a foul is historically unprecedented unless you’re named Wilt Chamberlain, but I’m not as afraid of those two point baskets as I am the result of an earthquaking momentum followed by a Steph deep ball. The pure hatred I have for the fans in Oracle Arena wouldn’t be near what it is if it weren’t for Steph’s shimmies and giggles after he’d break Chris Paul’s ankles and effortlessly toss up a 30-footer. Harden may be able to carry the weight of his team better thanks to his thick frame and ability to resist fatigue, but the pure fear that Steph has riddled opposing crowds with for the past 6 years is paralleled by few players.