How the Hell Do You Describe Steph Curry?

~Lorenzo Patrick (@smartspeak89)

There’s been a lot of ink spilled, digital or otherwise, on contextualizing the greatness of Steph Curry.  

Can’t really blame anyone for doing so. He’s the reigning in MVP of the NBA, while averaging 6 more points per game than he did a season ago. His Warriors are chasing the Bulls record of 72 wins in a regular season, and did so without their head coach most of the season. He just broke his own record for most 3-point field goals made in a regular season (288) with more than 20 games left. Yet, the pure absurdity of the greatness Curry has put on display really hasn’t been put fully into context.

Until you consider this.

The NBA 2K franchise is considered to be THE basketball simulator. Casual fans and purists, alike, laud the game every year for how realistic the gameplay has become. That’s largely due to the algorithm that governs every player’s performance. For example, a player can’t do a lot of dribbling and do a ton of spin moves and expect their shot to go in consistently. Nor can they just jack up a bunch of three-point shots and abuse a player that has a good shooting rating.

This all works well, until you consider the guy I mentioned at the start…

“He’s a ‘rule breaker’ when it comes to jump shooting,” said Mike Wang, gameplay director of NBA 2K via a Forbes Magazine article last week. “To be completely honest, we are still looking for ways to better translate his game into NBA 2K… We’re going to have to invest even more time in future iterations to really let Steph be Steph in future versions of NBA 2K.”

Not only is Steph Curry breaking records. Not only is he doing so in literally the most ridiculous way possible. Broadcasters usually say a player is putting up “video game numbers” when one has a good stretch of games. Curry’s performance the last two seasons is SO ridiculous, that he’s out performing his digital self.

Forget the MVP. The NBA is the Matrix, Steph Curry is Neo, and Agent Smith is nowhere in sight.

Just ask the Thunder.



One comment

  1. This would have been a really interesting article if it included more substantive research on NBA 2k and where the game is with Steph Curry, or other players that they find hard to chart digitally. What are the current limitations of 2k Steph? What is the game missing? What kind of algorithms are used? Are there other players that 2k has struggled to make realistic? Who was the last great player they had this problem with? Was excited to read this but wish there was more here!

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