It’s getting near that time of year. I’m not talking about NBA Playoff Finals time as much as I am talking about every sports network blasting comparisons between LeBron James and Steph Curry. Why wouldn’t they? These are two extraordinary superstars and are now (potentially) going to be meeting in the Finals. People have been calling this matchup since last year.
Fun fact: LeBron and Curry were born in the same hospital in Akron, Ohio only 39 months apart. It’s pretty surprising that two of the greatest players in the NBA were born in the same maternity ward – in Ohio of all places.
Both LeBron James and Steph Curry are proven superstars. Their characters have held enough media criticism for a good portion of their careers. If there was a way to lock down either of them and stop them, one of the teams they decimated would have. Steph Curry stands at 6’3 and weighs 190 pounds, whereas LeBron James stands at 6’8 and weighs 250. Side by side, LeBron is an extraordinary physical presence.
What ultimately determines the better player is not one-on-one combat, it’s going to be who can lead their team to victory. The Warriors are going to be using everybody from Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Andrew Bogut to try to lock down LeBron – and maybe the three of them in rotation can slow him down. Steph Curry is not going to be going against the Cavaliers’ reserve point guard Matthew Dellavedova this time around. He’s finally going to get a chance at a 100% Kyrie Irving. This is going to change things up big time.
LeBron has an excellent, rare form of compartmentalizing during the playoffs. He maintains a burning focus towards getting another ring. During the regular season LeBron doesn’t have much to prove. Ever since he entered the league in 2003, LeBron has been under the scrutiny of everybody in the NBA. People were in disbelief of the raw talent that is LeBron. It wasn’t until 2011-2013 that LeBron was able to get two back-to-back championships. This is a long time to be compared to Michael Jordan and not win any championships.
The NBA season doesn’t start for LeBron until the playoffs. This will be LeBron’s sixth consecutive NBA Finals since 2011, and his seventhth Finals appearance in his career. However, he has only won two of them. Although this many Finals appearances is impressive, his championship turnover ratio isn’t that great. LeBron is playing to leave a legacy and has refined his focus to an intense, compartmentalized warrior come playoff time.
Steph Curry, on the other hand, exploded into the scene relatively recently. Setting the all-time NBA record with 73 wins was impressive, as was being named the unanimous MVP. However, neither of these two feats guarantees a championship win. With all these accolades gathering up, Curry will soon be experiencing the same sort of pressure LeBron has for the past decade. The difference is that Steph Curry appears to be all smiles. Curry exceeds his expectations of being a point guard to be the type of player to drop 17 points in overtime.
Golden State has the hot new kid on the block; Cleveland has the tested champion. This NBA playoff series is that much more interesting to watch because two of the most talented players in the history of the league are going to be competing against each other again. Last year the survival unit that was the Cavaliers fell to the Warriors, landing Curry his first ring. There are two parts to becoming a champion The first is winning the championship, and the second is defending it. Things are not going to be as easy for the Warriors this playoff series, especially not against a laser focused LeBron and a healthy Cavaliers team.