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Steph Curry Doesn't Feel He "Arrived" In The NBA Until 4 Years Into His Career After Lighting Up The Knicks For 54 Points

Nathaniel S. Butler. Getty Images.

In 2023, it seems hard to imagine that there was ever a time when Steph Curry wasn't viewed as not only the greatest shooter to ever live, but also one of the best players in league history. Maybe it's the fact that he seems to get better and more unstoppable even as he ages, but before all of the titles, the MVPs, and the shooting records, there were absolutely questions about what type of player Steph could turn into.

So when did things officially change for him? According to Steph, the narrative compeltely shifted after that one magical game at MSG

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It feels a little mean to use this game specifically considering the fact that the Knicks had a couple cracks at drafting Curry and decided to pass both times, but I can understand why Steph went with this game. Massive performances that take place in MSG are always more important, and what's interesting about that game during the 2012-13 season is that it came in his Game 54. What's insane is that Steph was still really really good in the previous 53 appearances, averaging 21.3/4.0/6.5 on 44/44% splits with 3.0 3PM. He was still doing Steph Curry shit that we celebrate today, but it wasn't until that breakout performance that people started to really pay attention and talk about Steph in a certain way. That's the power of MSG in my opinion.

From that season on, Steph has made the All Star team every single season outside of 2019-20 when he only played 5 games. In just two seasons following that outburst, Steph would win his first MVP. In fact, that 54 point outburst is currently the 3rd highest point total Steph has ever scored in an NBA game. His 11 3PM are tied for the 3rd most he's ever had (something he's done a ridiculous 10 times). You can kind of see why Steph went with that game in particular.

It's also pretty fitting that Steph chose that game as his breakout moment and then nearly 10 years later went out and became the all time leader in 3PM in that same building

Again, brutal for Knicks fans because of what could have been, and looking back, there was definitely some cosmic bullshit at play with that. 

I also found it interesting that Steph himself admitted he didn't really arrive until Year 4, yet in today's basketball discourse unless you're a beast right away people label you as a bust. That's not to say every young player who may start their career off slow ends up being Steph Curry, but it is a nice reminder that you probably shouldn't write off guys early in their careers. All it might take is one night where they explode in a game at MSG and then who knows what can happen.