The short answer would have to be no. He is not the greatest point guard of all time. Stephen Curry is not the greatest point guard of all time. Not for the conventional reasons like him shooting from anywhere on the court with his seemingly limitless range being more shooting guard as opposed to point guard. It’s because he is on the Golden State Warriors, who really have no need for the point guard position in its purest form, as a ballhandler.
Shooters Passers gonna shoot, Forwards gonna pass…wait a second.
Stephen Curry has the playmaking ability and court awareness skillset to make himself one of the best pure passing point guards, but he doesn’t need to play to his full passing ability to facilitate the Warriors offense. Curry himself was third in assists with 5.2 on the Golden State Warriors for 2019, finding himself behind Draymond Green (6.9 assists) and Kevin Durant (5.9 assists). The Warriors have been able to maintain the number one spot in assists per game over the last five seasons ever since they made those first NBA finals to kickstart their dynasty.
The 2014-15 season for the Golden State Warriors was the last time that Curry had the highest assists per game for the Warriors with 7.7 assists per game. Ever since the 2015-16 season, he has been second in assists to Draymond Green, who has run the Warriors offense from a point-forward like position, but everyone contributes in a way as such with seamless position less basketball that sees everyone being able to adequately pass and swing the ball all around for assists. The stats have shown that Curry isn’t needed for his passing ability as the Warriors have had a larger contribution to their league-leading assist totals coming from a position other than the point guard.
Lustre of the point guard position lost to success?
Having a team as successful as the Golden State Warriors have been over the past five leaves Curry in a precarious position in the conversation for the greatest point guard of all-time. You look at a player widely considered one of the greatest and most pure point guards ever in John Stockton and the lethal pick and roll combination he was able to command with Karl Malone. You can attribute the success that those Utah Jazz teams had somewhat to Stockton’s passing ability. The greater success Golden State has had even without Curry leading the team from a pure point guard role would have to be the most deciding factor in determining whether or not Curry can be hailed as one of the greatest point guards of all time. Being a part of such successful teams without having to be relied on as much for his passing ability, contributing more effectively on the scoring end and playing the facilitated more often as opposed to being the facilitator.
Where does this leave Stephen Curry?
In the traditional sense of the words point guard, it leaves Curry somewhere as a few steps off of being a truly great point guard. If you speak of the greatest point guard in a way of just being the greatest player to play while being listed as a point guard for all intensive and stat sheet purposes, then yes, Stephen Curry may very well be the greatest point guard of all time. The impact he has left on the game and continues to impact while being at the forefront of the 3-point revolution that has encapsulated the league leaves him as one of the greatest players by default. It just so happens that he plays point guard, and those two don’t go hand in hand.
CLEVELAND, OH – JUNE 08: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts against the Cleveland Cavaliers during Game Four of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 8, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)