One man is rooting for Raptors for Larry Bird’s sake

Michael Jordan, for nearly 30 years now, has been the ultimate measuring stick when it pertains to the word “greatest.”

Does LeBron James (nine straight title appearances) rival MJ for the “greatest” hoop player of all time? Who is the “greatest” athlete ever, Jordan or Tom Brady?

Today, though, on the eve of the NBA Finals, Steph Curry now enters the conversation. Yes, these finals, with Golden State going for its fourth title in five years, carry some heavy, historical significance where Curry is concerned.

Win this championship, especially without or at the least with a hobbled Kevin Durant, and it propels Curry right into the thick of the “greatest,” conversation.

Perhaps, not with Brady – yet – but within the ranks of pro basketball history for sure.

Ten seasons into his pro career, and still only 31 years old, Curry has already soared up the alltime charts.

You can make a case that in the modern era of the NBA, since the ABA merger in the 1970s, Curry has vaulted into talk as the “greatest” ever to play the position.

For my money, I’ll take Magic Johnson at the top of the list.

But Curry has certainly surpassed Isaiah Thomas, the real Isaiah Thomas not the little guy who played for the Celtics a few years back, as the No. 2 point guard in the game.

In fact, as I thought about Curry, the Warriors and this amazing run he has helped author, sadness overwhelmed me.

Curry has the chance to knock my guy, one Larry Joe Bird, from this man’s all-time starting five.

My own personal Fab 4, Magic, MJ, LeBron and Tim Duncan is as close to untouchable as it gets, and Bird, the Celtics’ Hall of Famer, is on the bubble.

For a minute forget Curry’s flash, and just focus on the

accomplishments.

In a decade, six-time All-NBA season, a pair of MVPs and already three titles, bidding for four this spring, Curry has the hardware to go with the heroics.

I know, I’m old, and I want to believe that the players of my day, Bird, Magic, Dr. J, McHale, et al, honed the greatest era in hoop.

Curry is different. He’s not Carmelo or Iverson. He’s a throwback, bolstered with the skills made for today’s game.

And because of it, and because I’m an angry, old man, I’ll be rooting hard for the Raptors and Kawhi Leonard.

Anything we can do to slow Steph’s meteoric rise, and find a way to preserve the precious spot held by Larry Legend.

Contact Hector Longo at 594-1253 or hlongo@nashuatelegraph.com