Much has been made of LeBron James leading a less-than-stellar supporting cast to the NBA Finals, with some arguing that it’s the greatest achievement in a career that includes three NBA championships and eight straight Finals appearances.
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, James’ upcoming opponent for a fourth straight Finals matchup and arguably his biggest late-career individual rival, wasn’t hearing that kind of talk after the Cleveland Cavaliers eliminated the Boston Celtics on Sunday.
Stephen Curry: LeBron’s amazing, but …
“I hate when people say that,” Curry said. “Like it’s — they’re NBA players, and yeah they’re new and what-not and ‘Bron is amazing, he played an unbelievable playoff run to date and has willed his team to his eighth straight Finals and all that, which is unbelievable to think about the consistency and the longevity and just the level of greatness that he’s shown in the Eastern Conference.”
“As a basketball fan, to turn on the TV last night and watch the game, and there were points in the game where you didn’t know how it was going to play out and they found a way to get it done, so shout-out to him. It was an amazing performance, but don’t disrespect the other guys out there. They fought hard too.”
Stephen Curry has it so much easier than LeBron James
That’s a hot take from Curry.
It’s easy for a two-time MVP to give credit to teammates when their names are Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Curry can afford to have an off night, or a few off nights in the playoffs. One or more of that cast of All Stars is all but guaranteed to step up when the pressure is on.
When your supporting cast consists of a concussed Kevin Love, J.R. Smith and George Hill, there’s almost zero room for a night off. What James has accomplished with this Cavs team is remarkable, and he deserves all of the accolades he’s receiving.
If James doesn’t go for 35 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists on Sunday, Cleveland simply does not win. If James hadn’t averaged 34 points, 9.2 rebounds and 8.8 assists throughout the playoffs, the Cavs wouldn’t have advanced past the first round if they even made the postseason to begin with.
The Warriors, meanwhile, were just fine without Curry for the first round and start of the second round as he recovered from a knee injury.
Is Stephen Curry tired of the LeBron James accolades?
Curry’s knock on LeBron in the name of respect for his teammates seems almost petty and lacking in self-awareness. It almost sounds like he’s tired of hearing about James.
And that sly shade on James’ “Eastern Conference” greatness just takes it to the next level.
With the Warriors ready for a fourth straight Finals appearance against the Cavaliers, Curry’s already added another juicy layer to the years-long saga between the two teams.
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