Shaq says Steph Curry is in his own category: ‘He’s by himself…greatest player ever, 10 people in that category’

Brad Sullivan
4 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal said in a recent interview that Stephen Curry is the best shooter ever and deserves to be discussed among basketball’s greatest players.

During an interview with Dime Magazine, O’Neal responded after he was asked why he thinks that Curry is such a unique player.

“Because there’s no one like him,” O’Neal said. “People remember Shaq, there was no one like him. He’s one of those players — Mike (Michael Jordan), Kobe [Bryant], LeBron [James], nobody like them. He has his own category: Best shooter ever. Not one of the best shooters, not Ray Allen, not Reggie Miller, he is the best shooter ever. I’m in a category, but there’s another name that you have to mention: Wilt Chamberlain and Shaquille O’Neal, the most dominant ever. I’m fine with that. But in his category, he’s by himself. Greatest player ever, 10 people in that category.”

Curry was selected by the Golden State Warriors with the seventh overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft and has spent his entire career with the team.

During his third season in the league, Curry played in only 26 games due to injury. However, he bounced back, and by the start of the 2014-15 season, he was ready to take his game to a lofty new level.

Into the stratosphere

Curry was a driving force in helping the Warriors win five consecutive Western Conference titles from 2015 to 2019. In those five Finals appearances, the Warriors captured three NBA titles, including back-to-back crowns in 2017 and 2018.

Injuries again resurfaced during the 2019-20 campaign, with Curry again having a comeback year the following season by leading the league with 32.0 points per game.

This past season, Curry again led the Warriors to another NBA championship, winning Finals MVP honors for the first time.

Gauging the numbers

O’Neal’s designation of Curry as the greatest shooter is one that might spark debate given the wealth of talent that’s played in the NBA over the years. Still, Curry’s name certainly belongs in any such conversation when looking at the numbers he’s put up.

Curry has made 3,117 3-pointers over the course of his career, compiling a success rate of 42.8 percent from beyond the arc. He’s hit 47.3 percent of his shots from the field throughout his time in the league. That number isn’t necessarily noteworthy, but Curry’s abilities at the free-throw line do deserve recognition.

That’s because Curry’s career average at the charity stripe currently stands at 90.8 percent, making him the best free-throw shooter in NBA history.

O’Neal has never been shy when discussing his own talents, though he did acknowledge the abilities of another Lakers legend in Chamberlain. However, O’Neal is clearly a major fan of Curry and making his own attempt to show the greatness of the Warriors guard.

Share This Article
Brad is a freelance writer for, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.