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There may be nobody in basketball history more qualified to make comparisons between Michael Jordan and Stephen Curry than Steve Kerr, and the Golden State Warriors head coach did just that following Monday’s road win over the Washington Wizards.
Kerr, who played on the Chicago Bulls with Jordan and now coaches Curry, discussed how many fans in the opposing arena were cheering for the Warriors guard.
“He’s the modern MJ,” Kerr told reporters. “Playing with the Bulls, half the crowd’s got red 23 jerseys on. Now, half the crowd’s got blue and yellow 30 jerseys. Steph transcends the game. He elicits an emotion from people. I think because he’s so awe-inspiring in his play, no matter where we go there are people who are cheering for him and can’t wait to see him perform.”
Jordan was a transcendent global superstar who attracted massive crowds wherever the Bulls were during the peak of their dynasty in the 1990s.
His teams won six championships sandwiched around his retirement to play baseball, and the Curry-led Warriors are arguably the closest thing the league has seen since in terms of fan appeal, success and superstar-driven popularity.
Golden State has been to six of the last eight NBA Finals and won four, all with Curry leading the charge. The 2015-16 Warriors also broke the record held by Jordan’s 1995-96 Bulls for the most wins in a single season, although Curry’s squad fell short in the NBA Finals matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
No. 30 remains two rings behind No. 23, but Golden State is the reigning champion and has the two-time MVP leading the way once again this season.
It has been an uneven start at 22-22, but Curry proved why nobody will want to see the Warriors in the playoffs with another brilliant performance with 41 points in Monday’s win over the Wizards.
Ironically, all that support on the road has not translated to many wins outside of the latest one.
Golden State is an ugly 5-17 away from home and is only in the playoff picture because of how well it has played at Chase Center. If it can start to turn things around on the road in front of all those Curry fans, its championship outlook will be much better,
And another ring would likely lead to even more fans next season.