This year’s NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers ended with a bang — with Stephen Curry and LeBron James caught right in the middle.
Though the finals seem to be old news with free agency taking up the media, Curry has spent over two months reflecting on the events of the championship contest, and decided to finally open up about the harsh trash talk that he had exchanged with LeBron James.
During the closing moments of Game 1, with the outcome already decided and a mere minute remaining in OT, Curry attempted to go in for a layup — but James swatted the shot away and the two ‘exchanged’ words. Both men were seen yelling at one another, sweat rolling down their faces. Fans wondered what was said, but neither team and neither player revealed any specifics.
Curry recently explained the heated situation between LeBron James and himself on The Bill Simmons Podcast.
“I was hot because I was trying to finish out a possession, I think it was less than a minute left. I didn’t see him coming over from the weak side so I tried to do a little soft scoop layup and he pinned it. Then he stared me down and he said something to me.”
Curry said he started wondering if that was going to be the norm for the rest of the game.
“That’s what we really on right now? We’re about to win and you’re really worried about mean-blocking my shot and talking trash?
Before the events of the first game of last year’s NBA Finals, James was reportedly “like a mentor” to Curry early on in his career. However, as the two have battled for championships year after year — for four seasons now — their relationship has been put under a microscope.
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) August 17, 2018
Soon after the initial fracas between Curry and James, tempers flared between the two teams deeper rosters — and Tristan Thompson got ejected.
“Then the whole Tristan and Draymond thing happened, and I went back up to him and I was like, Yo, what’s up? Is this really what we about right now?
“He was like, ‘I gotta do that to make sure my teammates know I’m a mentor.’ That’s part of his leadership and that type of deal. I was like, I don’t want to be the sacrificial lamb for your leadership. Come on man, that’s messed up.”
Although the championship rivalry is evident, Curry said there is respect between the two players. Working out together in the summer and playing pickup is a different environment than on the court. Curry made it known there is still plenty of competition on the court.
“Guys can be buddies and friends and whatnot and have whatever type of relationship they want to have in the summer and off the court, but the rivalry and competition and egos and all that stuff that lives in an NBA game and when you’re trying to hold that trophy — it’s really there and it’s not going anywhere.”