Steph Curry and LeBron James Ready to Move On From Intense Rivalry

Published 12/01/2020, 7:47 PM EST
CLEVELAND, UNITED STATES – JUNE 16: LeBron James (R) of Cavaliers and Stephen Curry (L) of Warriors in action during the Game 6 of the 2015 NBA Finals between Golden State Warriors vs Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on June 16, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)


The NBA is as much about individual All-star rivalries as it is about the vying between the franchises. Now, there is this one tussle that defined the past decade, remained constant, and totally stood out. Stephen Curry and LeBron James marked the NBA Finals like none other. For the fans, it was more like celebrating LeBron June and Stephen Finals from 2015 to 2018.

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The Warriors organization took its time in building around Steph Curry after his draft in 2009, but they came in like none else (after his rebirth post-2012). It almost felt like the Celtics from the ’80s or the Chicago Bulls from the ’90s. However, the Cavaliers soon entered the scene to make it about two hungry sides and not just one crowned kingdom.

Any chances of a re-ignition of the touted rivalry?

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The 2019-20 season was as unfortunate for the Warriors’ legend as the 2018-19 was for LeBron James. In the last season, an ailing GSW saw its main guy showing up in just 5 odd games. Also, for The Akron Hammer, his first season with the Lakers was plagued with injuries. That led to him missing out on an NBA Finals appearance for the first time in 9 years.

But before these couple of years, it was all about Curry-Bron. They played back-to-back full-throttle finals and gave a new direction to the NBA. So what are the chances of its revival? In an interview, Steph expressed, “We did play, the Warriors-Cavs, four years in a row. It’s not that long ago in terms of that whole conversation and whatnot. And now obviously him being in the West, in the same division, and should play them four times in a normal year. But I think at the end of the day, if you get caught up in that, you’re already at a disadvantage just because there’s so many other teams and other players at the top.”

The two shared many heated moments on the court, but never really went nasty against one-another off it.

LeBron James vs Stephen Curry head-to-head: Then vs Now

One can arguably claim that there’s a sea change in the way the league is moving, ever since the GSW disrupted the NBA, and then the Lakers made their comeback. Today, the WC is crowded with top-notch competitors in the likes of a wounded Clippers, an underdog but rising Phoenix Suns, a talent-loaded Mavericks, among others. If this has done anything, it has somehow diluted the rivalry between Curry and Bron. Take a look as a testament that proves this-

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Curry further added, “what Bron did in the Finals, or in the bubble season this year, and what he continues to do every year — it’s truly remarkable and unbelievable. I love that competition. And whoever that next guy that’s going to challenge the top five, top 10 list in the league and all that type of stuff, that’s for everybody else to talk about. We know what’s up on the court when you see a guy across the way, you know you’ve got a force to be reckoned with. I want to be in that conversation every year, no matter who it is.

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The two have faced each other more frequently in the playoffs (22 occasions) than in the regular games (13 times). Steph holds a 21-14 (60%) advantage over the 4-time champion. But his Klay-less side has thin chances against a deep Lakers roster this upcoming season. It will be interesting to see if they can again meet during the playoffs, but will it be under the same intensity? Doubtful!

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Sourabh Singh

1268 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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