There’s a bit of a rivalry between LeBron James and Steph Curry. They used to be good friends, but now they’re not as close as they once were.
Why is that? Is it because of Curry’s trash-talking? His overnight success? The fact that he’s become a championship rival?
“I think LeBron does like Steph Curry the person,” Bay Area News Group Warriors writer Marcus Thompson said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “I think that’s there and I think after this whole rivalry is over, LeBron will probably embrace him because I think LeBron is a good guy. I think the problem was Steph, in the minds of many – including the NBA – knocked LeBron off the podium. I think Steph represented this statement that LeBron is done or LeBron is no longer the best. Kobe steps out, LeBron is clearly the No. 1 and then, boom, here comes Curry being anointed. I think if it was anybody, (LeBron) probably would have had a problem with that and would have wanted to take that player out. But also, it’s like, ‘That dude? The dude that was in my camp? Are you serious right now? Let me show you how overrated he is. Let me show you how he’s not on my level.’ So I think that’s what it was about. We were ready to push LeBron off the pedestal, take his crown off of him and put it on Steph, and I think that’s where he’s like, ‘Wait a second, let me show you guys why that’s a bad idea.’”
Curry isn’t your prototypical NBA star. He didn’t come from a hard-scrabble life. He’s a soft-spoken, polite guy who comes from a great family and seems to always say all the right things. But he also trash-talks, rubs it in your face when he’s on fire and throws his mouth guard into the stands in anger.
Which one of those personalities is the true Steph Curry?
“There’s a dichotomy to him,” said Thompson, the author of Golden: The Miraculous Rise of Steph Curry. “There is two sides. Let’s let that be clear. There is the Steph Curry off the court and then there’s a different beast on the court. I think if you take the totality of his life, it’s the nice guy. He’s a really good guy. He’s a family dude. There’s nobody who meets and knows Steph Curry who doesn’t like him. On the court, though, he’s a different dude – and in many ways, he has to be. This is how he copes. This is how he overcomes all of these knocks that are against him. This has been happening when he was a little boy, back when his jersey looked like a dress on him. People have doubted him from day one. So I think that’s his coping mechanism. That’s how he gets over it.”