The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors formed one of the most interesting rivalries in league history from the 2014-15 NBA season to the 2017-18 NBA season. However, in the four consecutive years that they faced each other in the NBA Finals, it seems like individual rivalries between players have also been built. In a recent episode of Book of Basketball 2.0 podcast, Bill Simmons of The Ringer and Brian Windhorst of ESPN discussed whether the bad blood between former Cavaliers and now Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James and Warriors point guard Stephen Curry really existed.
Simmons revealed that the rivalry between James and Curry is “pretty real,” adding that LeBron has a “genuine disdain” for the Warriors player.
“It is not friendly. I think LeBron really has genuine disdain for him,” Simmons said, as reported by Drew Shiller of NBC Sports. “And I think Curry’s kind of like, ‘F*ck you, I’ve won as many titles as you have.’ And you could feel it festering in this 2016 (Finals) because there’s this underlying current of LeBron has gone back to Cleveland, the King is back, and then Curry comes in and kind of grabs the crown a little bit. And more importantly, I think to LeBron … became really popular.”
During the Warriors’ reign, Curry was indeed a threat to James’ throne. With his incredible on-court performance, Curry’s popularity rose, and he became the first unanimous MVP in league history in 2016. However, though he agreed with the notion about the existing rivalry between the two superstars, Windhorst doesn’t think that James is jealous of Curry.
Though new powerhouse teams and superstars are currently on the rise, most NBA fans would definitely love to see James and Curry facing each other again in the postseason. Unfortunately, it’s less likely to happen in the 2019-20 NBA season as James’ Lakers and Curry’s Warriors are currently heading in different directions.
After years of suffering huge disappointments, the Lakers have finally returned to being a relevant team in the league once again, thanks to James and Anthony Davis. As of now, the Lakers continue to wreak havoc in the 2019-20 NBA season, currently sitting in the No. 1 spot in the Western Conference with a 24-5 record. If they manage to prevent any major injuries throughout the season, James and the Lakers have a strong chance of fully dominating the Western Conference and winning the 2020 NBA championship title.
Meanwhile, after losing some of their core players — including Curry — to injuries, the Warriors have struggled to consistently win games and are expected to finish the season as one of the lottery teams. However, the Warriors aren’t expected to remain at the bottom of the Western Conference for long. Once Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green become 100 percent healthy and regain their All-Star form, the Warriors will definitely become a legitimate threat in the league once again.