Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors has been ranked above James Harden on the SI top 100 list.
Every year, Sports Illustrated releases their list of the top 100 NBA Players. Sparking controversy every time, we will focus on one comparison in particular. Stephen Curry has been placed one spot above James Harden, a decision that has people talking.
Before we get into our discussion, let’s first show SI’s top five.
At first glance, this seems reasonable. Fresh off an MVP campaign, the future of the league, Giannis Antetokounmpo sits in first place. Next up is the reigning Finals MVP, Kawhi Leonard. Rounding out the top three is LeBron James who is preparing for a revenge season for the ages.
Curry stands at fourth place while Harden claims the final spot in the top five. For fans of the Warriors, this seems like an easy decision. However, many are upset that Harden sits below Curry on the ranking.
Last season, Harden had one of the most prolific scoring seasons in NBA history. Putting up an incredible 36.1 points per game on 44/37/88 shooting splits, Harden fell just short of capturing back-to-back MVP awards.
Meanwhile, Curry had an impressive season of his own. Averaging 27.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game, Curry’s great numbers were snuffed out by the presence of Kevin Durant. KD’s excellence and upcoming free agency decision often stole the spotlight from Curry.
It was in the postseason where Curry proved that he is worthy of his spot in the top four, rivaling even those ahead of him. Dropping 36 points in the second half versus Harden and the Houston Rockets to win the series.
This performance showed just how great Curry is. Regardless of any narratives that are spun, Curry shows up when it matters most. The same can not be said for Harden who has repeatedly underwhelmed in the playoffs.
While Curry may not have an argument to be ranked any higher than fourth, he certainly belongs ahead of those behind him on the list.