What Other Athletes Really Think About Steph Curry

As the child of a former NBA player, Steph Curry is not new to the world of sports or the limelight. Though his marriage to Ayesha Curry has always garnered media attention, the basketball star has remained mostly controversy-free throughout his career. Unlike his long-time Golden State Warriors teammate, Draymond Green, his playing style isn't filled with antics and his interviews aren't that scandalous. But not everyone has been a fan throughout the years. 

A disappointing end to the 2021 season left many wondering if the Warriors dynasty was over. "You don't want to see us next year," a fired-up Curry promised the doubters. As the star kicked off the 2022 NBA season, it was clear he was now playing with a chip on his shoulder. He broke the three-point record, brought his team back to the finals, and added one missing piece to his illustrious resume.

This eight-time NBA All-star has won four championships and there's been plenty of people who have been rooting against him along the way. Curry has found himself in feuds with his peers, coaches, and ... a former president. Here's a rundown on his fiercest opponents.

His friendship with Kevin Durant isn't what it seems

One would think that two players on a team some consider the greatest team in basketball history would have a great relationship. However, that doesn't seem to be the case with Kevin Durant and Steph Curry. When Durant made the decision to leave The Warriors in 2019, rumors swirled that the player felt overshadowed by his teammate and underappreciated because of it. A year later, an ESPN report stated that there had been an underlying tension between the two, with Durant rumored to have been jealous.

In "The Victory Machine: The Making and Unmaking of the Warriors Dynasty" (via NBC Sports), writer Ethan Strauss claimed Durant was fed up with Bay Area media reporters' fixation on Curry. "[He said that] all of us local guys just wanted to kiss Steph's a** at his expense. This was KD's consistent lament," he wrote. Durant has always publicly denied feelings of jealousy and even addressed the rumors on his podcast, "The ETCs with Kevin Durant," where he insisted, "I played there for three years. If you didn't see the jealousy on the court or in the media, why are you trying to make it up now?" 

However, Durant's words haven't always matched his actions on social media. On top of admitting to using a burner Twitter account with which to defend himself on the platform, in 2021 he was exposed for liking shady tweets about Curry. Despite quickly unliking a tweet calling him trash, the damage was already done.

Tracy McGrady doesn't have him in his Top 5

Despite winning four championships and influencing a new style of play in basketball, Tracy McGrady is still not convinced that Curry is as great as the icons who've come before him. The former NBA player's comments came as the star delivered a dominant performance in the 2022 NBA Finals. "We know Steph is like the 3-point God," McGrady told NBC Sports. "But when it comes to putting him with [Michael Jordan] and these guys that won that level of championships; Kobe [Bryant] and Magic Johnson, I don't know where to rank him." 

The NBA legend even pondered if Curry was the sole reason The Warriors won those first three championships. He pointed out that during two of the Warriors championships, Curry wasn't named Finals MVP — Kevin Durant was. "K.D. came and joined the Warriors and became the best player and helped Steph win two more championships," he explained. "But Steph wasn't the best player on that team."

McGrady's comments stirred up a conversation amongst fans and sports commentators on Twitter. Curry didn't directly respond to McGrady's comments but as he walked away with another championship and his first Finals MVP award, he made sure to deliver one message to critics nitpicking his resume: "What are they gonna say now?"

His former coach believes he ruined basketball

Mark Jackson was the former coach of The Golden State Warriors up until 2014 when the team fired him. It's no secret that he held some resentment towards the team afterward — especially while watching them win multiple championships without him. During the 2022 NBA Finals, Jackson was the main commentator during games and had a couple of shady comments to get off his chest. As Steph Curry was putting on an MVP-level performance, Jackson took that opportunity to throw some jabs at him and The Warriors. "If I was Steph Curry I would thank Boston's defense for the MVP," Jackson said (via WEEI), insinuating Boston's horrible performance handed Curry an easy win. 

But it wasn't the first time Jackson took a jab at the star. In 2015, he publicly said Curry's famous basketball style was having a terrible influence on aspiring ballers. "He's hurting the game," he said during another commentary session (via For The Win). "And what I mean by that is that I go into these high school gyms, I watch these kids, and the first thing they do is they run to the 3-point line. You are not Steph Curry," Jackson said during another broadcast. Curry, who's kept all comments about his former coach positive, took it in his stride. "I have to talk to him," he told Yahoo Sports (via Bleacher Report). "I don't know what he means by that. If you can shoot, shoot. If you can't, stop."

Ja Morant didn't back down from him

Former Rookie of The Year, Ja Morant isn't just known for his gravity-defying dunks and griddy dance, he's also known for not backing down from his opponents. In 2020, Morant and the young Grizzlies team had some choice words for Andre Iguodala after the veteran player wanted off their team. Teammate Dillion Brooks bluntly told reporters (via NBA), "A guy that's on our team doesn't want to be on our team. I can't wait til we find a way to trade him so we can play him and show him really what Memphis is about." Morant echoed those sentiments on Twitter, with a cheeky emoji of approval. 

It wasn't long before Iguodala's longtime friend and teammate, Steph Curry, chimed in to defend him. On Twitter, sports journalist Rachel Nichols shared a screenshot of an Instagram Stories post from Curry which she captioned, "And now Steph chiming in." The post featured a picture of the three-time champ holding the NBA Finals trophy with a shady emoji. Morant responded in his own petty fashion, replying with a photo of former Warriors player Kevin Durant holding the Finals MVP trophy — a dig at Curry who was yet to win one. 

The rivalry between the two players was even more apparent during the 2022 playoffs. As the two teams battled it out there was plenty of trash talk – including Curry's infamous "Whoop That Trick" game plan that quickly backfired. This is one NBA rivalry that is sure to deliver more epic moments.

Michael Jordan snubbed him

It's hard to be like Mike, but getting his approval is even harder. Steph Curry learned the hard way after NBA legend, Michael Jordan, commented on his career during an episode of "Today." In 2019, the man many have dubbed The GOAT gave praise to the stars of his generation. When Curry was namedropped, Jordan replied "He's still a great player, not a Hall of Famer yet though." The Hall of Fame comment followed by the infamous Jordan chuckle felt like a jab. Though many claimed this was just another moment of Jordan being competitive, it's clear Curry wasn't too pleased about it. 

"I love MJ, he's obviously the GOAT," he told ESPN. "... I'm sure if you ask him that question now ... he'll probably have a different answer." Curry pointed out that Jordan's statement included the word "yet," implying that he has the potential to reach that goal. That same year, he jokingly referred to Jordan as one of his haters during an episode of "Sole Collector."

In 2021, the pair sat down for an interview at the Ryder Cup, where he apparently confronted Jordan about his past comments. Curry told "The Athletic NBA Show" that he confronted Jordan about his past comments – apparently, it was the first question he asked. The response? "He said 'First-ballot Hall of Fame, no problem.' That's verbatim what he said," Curry revealed.