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Stephen Curry says self-confidence as NBA's top player drives success

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Haberstroh's top 5 NBA players (2:17)

ESPN NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh joins Russillo & Kanell to share his thoughts on the top five players in the NBA and why his MVP predictions have changed since the preseason. (2:17)

Stephen Curry leads the NBA's reigning champions, a team that started the season with a record 24 straight wins.

The 2015 MVP also leads the league -- a group that includes LeBron James and Kevin Durant, no less -- in scoring average at 31.8 points, a number he has improved on by a full eight points per game from last season.

He's on top of the world, in other words -- and doesn't have a problem with it.

"In my mind, yes," Curry said when asked by Time magazine, in an interview published Wednesday, whether he was the best player in the world. "That's how I have confidence out there that I can play at a high level every night."

At 27 and in his seventh season with the Golden State Warriors, the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Curry said it's not a boast in which he's weighing himself against the competition. He said it's simply a mindset he needs in order to play at his peak.

"I don't get into debates, arguing with people about why I am versus somebody else," Curry said. "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."

Asked whether he agrees with teammate Draymond Green that he is "the face of the NBA," Curry said he embraced that, too, but said it was also a matter of perspective.

"I don't know if that's a black and white answer," Curry said. "You've got to be a winner and have all the right trajectory as a player and as a team to back that up. Whatever comes out of that is cool."

Curry has also grown into one of the hottest commodities off the court with the best-selling jersey in the NBA since March and a bevy of global consumer brands employing him as their pitchman.

"The way I try to represent my family and coaches, I think all are characteristics the league aspires to portray," Curry said. "That's just who I am. It's not changing anything about me to fulfill that role."