Steph Curry is the best basketball player in the world at this current time, so why are experts and former players so scared to say he is?
Heading into the opening day of the NBA season last week, ESPN.com's yearly player rankings had the reigning NBA Most Valuable Player ranked at number four, behind Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
This seems remarkable considering Curry cruised to the MVP award last year by leading his Golden State Warriors side to a 67-15 record, the joint sixth-best record in NBA history, when Davis has made just one playoff appearance in his young career and Durant has not yet won an NBA title.
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay4
Article continues below
He then followed this by leading the Warriors through the playoffs to their first NBA title in 40 years, defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the widely-regarded best player in the world, LeBron James, 4-2 in the NBA Finals.
Curry is acknowledged by almost everyone as the best shooter of all time, particularly off the dribble, and is currently second in career three-point shooting percentage at .441%, only behind his own coach, Steve Kerr at .454%.
Article continues below
Last season he broke the current record for three-pointers made in a single regular season with 286, eight more than the record which he himself had set during the 2012-13 season and, if he continues at the pace in which he has started this year, will smash through his own record once again this season.
Curry has made a mockery of his fourth place ranking with his incredible start to the season, as he has already defeated Davis' New Orleans Pelicans twice, including pouring in 53 points in New Orleans on Saturday night, and has started well ahead of the pace required to join the exclusive 50-40-90 shooting club which he fell agonisingly short of last year.
The perception has always been that point guards like Curry, who stands at just 6 foot 3 inches, can influence but not affect the outcome of a match like taller, stronger players, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
This is why many pundits will refrain from declaring a point guard the best player in the world.
However, that is less the case in the modern NBA, as the game is moving further away from the hoop, with three-point shooting and perimeter defence now the key to winning matches more than old fashioned big men posting up close to the basket.
Point guard is also the strongest position in the NBA in 2015, with Curry having to guard players like Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Kyrie Irving on a nightly basis.
Previously he was hidden on defence, under former coach Mark Jackson, but Curry took on the responsibility himself last season and still performed at an elite level, improving his play under new defensive assistant coach Ron Adams.
One possible reason as to why Curry is often undermined is the fact that he is so entertaining when he plays, which distracts from his true efficiency.
In the world of sports right now, there are very few, if any, more electrifying sportsmen in the world, who can excite and thrill a crowd who may even be cheering against them.
When Curry has the ball in his hands, all eyes in the crowd are fixated on him, waiting for his next highlight play.
Whether he is dribbling in between a crowd of players, crossing over one of the players unfortunate enough to be defending him, or sinking shots from near mid-court, you constantly hear the 'oohs' and 'aahs' from the crowd, home or away, in amazement at what they are witnessing.
There is still a strong argument that James is the best player in the world after he almost single-handedly defeated the Warriors in the Finals without his two fellow stars on the Cavaliers team, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love for all but one of the Finals matches.
Taking on the King
But even with James' monumental effort, Golden State prevailed, and would not have been able to do so without their superstar, Curry.
It is also unlikely that James will still be able to play at his usual level this season, as he turns 31 before the end of 2015 and has missed a maximum of just 13 games in a single season (in 2014-15).
Combine this with five consecutive NBA Finals appearances and James has put a tremendous amount of strain of his body during his career, which led to him taking two weeks off in the middle of last season to heal a back injury. An injury which he also had an injection for ahead of this season.
If James' health continues to dip, and his performances continue a recent downward trend, it may not be long before Curry gets the recognition he deserves.