The rivalry between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors doesn’t compare to the level of disdain LeBron James reportedly feels for Steph Curry.
Several media outlets are reporting James is convinced Curry’s meteoric rise to the land of being considered among the league’s best, with two league MVP trophies to prove it, has come about too quickly and that the hype about him might be just a bit overblown.
The fact that Curry is the only player in history to have ever been unanimously tabbed as league MVP and reigns as one of the league’s most popular players also doesn’t seem to sit well with James, and it seems the three-time champ is not alone in his assessment.
In his new book, Golden: The Miraculous Rise of Steph Curry, Bay Area News Group columnist Marcus Thompson also reveals that it’s a view shared by the likes of Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook.
“I think if you ask them and they’re being honest, they don’t like all the hype he gets, and they have to direct it that way,” Thompson said during an appearance on the Big Lead radio show. “I think, out of all of them, if somebody doesn’t like Steph Curry, I think it’s probably Westbrook. He just shows no sign of… this ain’t really about Steph, it’s bigger. His seems to be, ‘I don’t like that dude.’ But LeBron and them, I think they will say, ‘Man, I like Steph. We can have a conversation.’ But there’s something that burns them about the fact that Steph is the one that is exalted and because of that they want to go at him and demean his hype. They want to take him down.”
James rejoiced mightily when his Cavs did just that in the 2015-16 NBA Finals, rallying from a 3-1 deficit to become the first team in league history to overcome such a steep disadvantage en route to bringing James’ hometown of Cleveland its first title in a major sport in decades.
Thompson made sure to make mention of a LeBron on Steph block that happened during Game 6 and the former’s demonstrative reaction to the play.
“You never see LeBron talk trash like that to anyone else,” he noted, adding players yearn “to go the extra mile to disprove Curry’s hype.”
Indeed, it’s a long way from the days when Curry was staring at Davidson and James was seen as being somewhat of a mentor to him.
Added Thompson, “[LeBron] was a big fan of Curry, he would go to Curry’s games at Davidson, and even when they got to the NBA, they had moments where LeBron was looking at him like, ‘wow’ and then Steph kind of like challenged LeBron’s status.”
That seemingly changed everything, reportedly leaving Curry at a loss to understand why things have to be the way they’ve been for a while now.
“He loves LeBron,” said Thompson. “He respects LeBron, and he’s like, ‘because the outside world is pitting us together, why do you and I have to now have this disdain between us, I thought we were cool? That’s the question that’s in Curry’s mind and Curry’s camp: Why do you not like me when all I did was basically respect everything you did, and kind of follow the model you carried out?”
Before Curry emerged, Paul was widely considered the league’s most complete and best point guard. Then Curry happened.
“Chris Paul was somebody [Curry] looked up to,” said Thompson. “Chris Paul used to dominate that matchup. Chris Paul was supposed to be next in line to win a championship. Then, suddenly, it was Steph… that’s another relationship where [Curry] was like, ‘oh, I look up to you,’ and suddenly there is this disdain vs Steph. There’s a lot of those.”
[Featured Image by Jamie Squire/Getty Images]