They say it’s not bragging if you can do it.
Well, it’s also not bragging if it’s patently obvious to everybody from the up-closest patron in a courtside seat to a faraway fan leaning in an squinting to see on a tiny antique black-and-white Philco TV.
Stephen Curry merely agreed with the rest of Planet Earth — outside of Ohio — when he told TIME magazine’s Sean Gregory in a Q & A that he’s the No. 1 baller in the game today:
Are you the best player in the world right now?
Curry: “In my mind, yes. That’s how I have confidence out there that I can play at a high level every night. I don’t get into debates, arguing with people about why I am versus somebody else. I feel like anybody who’s at the level I’m trying to be at, if you don’t think that when you’re on the floor, then you’re doing yourself a disservice.”
The piece in the “Year Ahead” issue of TIME touches on a variety of topics, from Curry’s offseason training regimen to his friendship with Clippers point guard Chris Paul to his rivalry with Houston’s James Harden to his admiration for professional golfer Jordan Spieth and even the celebrity of his now 3-year-old daughter Riley, who stole the show last June at the NBA Finals.
Curry also addressed the issue of the next round of collective bargaining between the National Basketball Players Association and the league, which could potentially lead to a work stoppage for the 2016-17 season.
The NBA had lockouts that shortened the 1999 and 2012 seasons. What’s your message to fans who really don’t want to see another one?
Curry: “Players don’t want to see a lockout either. We want to play. Guys have such a short window, you don’t want to waste time sitting on the sidelines talking about bargaining agreements, things like that. We’re working hard to present out issues and hear the NBA’s issues, what may or may not be right or wrong and work it out hopefully. We will fight for what we feel is right.”