Stephen Curry vs. Magic Johnson stats: GOAT point guard debate heats up after Warriors star’s comments

None of the current point guards in the NBA can touch Stephen Curry’s list of accomplishments. As a two-time MVP, four-time champion and nine-time All-NBA selection, the Warriors star belongs in a tier all by himself.

At this stage of his career, Curry is only chasing the legends of the game — or has he already surpassed them? During a recent appearance on the “Gil’s Arena” podcast, Curry told former Wizards star Gilbert Arenas that he is the best point guard of all time, putting himself ahead of Hall of Famer Magic Johnson.

“Obviously, I have to answer it that way, but I really feel like Magic’s resume is ridiculous,” Curry said. “So, the fact that we’re even having that conversation — it’s a place I never thought I’d be in. … That’s what basketball, that what’s sports are all about. That’s why people watch. That’s why people get into heated debates about it. I love it.

“So, you put me on my own team, yeah, I’m gonna rep myself, for sure.”

Johnson set an incredibly high bar before he retired in 1996. Has Curry already jumped over it? Here’s what the numbers tell us about the Curry vs. Johnson debate.

(All stats current as of Aug. 23, 2023)

MJ VS. LEBRON: The key stats you need to know in the GOAT debate

Stephen Curry vs. Magic Johnson: Regular season stats

Curry is a more dangerous scoring threat than Johnson. His ability to shoot, finish at the rim and move without the ball can break even the best defenses.

Johnson has the advantage in terms of assists and rebounds. His size (6-9, 215 pounds) and skill set allowed him to climb up to third on the all-time triple-double list (138). He sits behind Russell Westbrook (198) and Oscar Robertson (181), the only players who have averaged a triple-double for a season.

Magic Per Game  Curry
19.5 Points 24.6
7.2 Rebounds 4.7
11.2 Assists 6.5
1.9 Steals 1.6
0.4 Blocks 0.2
3.9 Turnovers 3.1
36.7 Minutes 34.4
52.0 Field goal % 47.5
30.3 3-point % 42.8
84.8 Free throw % 90.9
Magic Totals  Curry
906 Games 882
17,707 Points 21,712
6,559 Rebounds 4,179
10,141 Assists 5,740
1,724 Steals 1,419
374 Blocks 207
3,506 Turnovers 2,777
33,245 Minutes 30,302

Stephen Curry vs. Magic Johnson: Regular season advanced stats

There is a sizable gap between Johnson and Curry in the advanced categories. However, Curry seems to have a few prime years left, so that gap could shrink as he ages into his mid-30s.

Magic Advanced  Curry
24.1 Player Efficiency Rating 23.8
80.0 Value Over Replacement 65.6
7.5 Box Plus/Minus 6.6
155.8 Win Shares 128.0
61.0 True Shooting % 62.7
22.3 Usage % 28.8

Stephen Curry vs. Magic Johnson: Playoff stats

Unsurprisingly, Curry and Johnson are two of the best postseason performers of all time at their position.

Curry increases his scoring output during the NBA Playoffs with shooting splits hovering near 45/40/90. Johnson bumped up his assist and rebounding numbers under the bright lights of the postseason.

Magic Playoffs Per Game  Curry
19.5 Points 27.0
7.7 Rebounds 5.3
12.3 Assists 6.2
1.9 Steals 1.5
0.3 Blocks 0.3
3.7 Turnovers 3.3
39.7 Minutes 37.4
50.6 Field goal % 45.3
24.1 3-point % 39.7
83.8 Free throw % 88.9
Magic Playoff Totals  Curry
190 Games 147
3,701 Points 3,966
1,465 Rebounds 786
2,346 Assists 912
358 Steals 223
64 Blocks 44
696 Turnovers 489
7,538 Minutes 5,492

Stephen Curry vs. Magic Johnson: Playoff advanced stats

The advanced stats in the NBA Playoffs are a bit tighter than the regular season figures. Curry is tied with Johnson in PER, and he’s not far behind in Box Plus/Minus.

Magic Advanced  Curry
23.0 Player Efficiency Rating 23.0
18.3 Value Over Replacement 12.5
7.6 Box Plus/Minus 7.0
32.6 Win Shares 21.7
59.5 True Shooting % 60.6
21.2 Usage % 29.9

Stephen Curry vs. Magic Johnson: Accolades and awards

Johnson leads in nearly every category here, but it wouldn’t be a shock to see Curry match or even pass Johnson’s totals before the Warriors send his jersey into the rafters at the Chase Center.

Curry should easily hit double-digits in All-NBA and All-Star selections, and as long as Golden State continues to put the right pieces around him, he should be in a position to compete for more championships.

Magic Accolades  Curry
5 Championships 4
3 MVPs 2
3 Finals MVPs 1
10 All-NBA 9
12 All-Star 9
0 Scoring titles 2
4 Assist titles 0
2 Steal titles 1

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