LeBron James and Stephen Curry have had some memorable battles. The two future Hall of Famers have faced each other in the NBA Finals four times, with the Golden State Warriors star winning three championships against the King.
However, LeBron led the Cleveland Cavaliers to the 2016 championship over the Warriors in historic fashion. The Cavs became the first team in NBA history to erase a 3-1 series deficit in the Finals, spoiling Curry’s second MVP campaign and the Dubs’ 73-9 season.
LeBron and Curry may be rivals on the court, but they have always had mutual respect for each other, and that was on full display during the 2013-14 season when cameras caught the former paying homage to the latter in the Oracle Arena hallway.
LeBron James and Stephen Curry put on a show
On February 12, 2014, the Miami Heat took on the Warriors at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. Both LeBron and Curry had stellar games, but only one superstar could come out on top.
Behind 36 points from LeBron, the Heat defeated the Warriors by a final score of 111-110. The four-time MVP hit a game-winning 3-pointer with 0.1 seconds left in regulation. Curry, who finished with 29 points, got his first taste of what it was like to be on the receiving end of a LeBron avalanche.
LeBron James to Stephen Curry: You a bad motherf—–
Curry proved to the world against the Heat that he was fully deserving of his first All-Star selection in 2013-14. The sharpshooter shot 8-of-14 from the field, 4-of-4 from beyond the arc, and 9-of-9 from the free-throw line en route to his 29 points.
LeBron is a fan of basketball, just like everyone else who watches the NBA. So he was in awe of Curry despite competing against him and made sure to let the Davidson product know how stellar he was against his ballclub.
“You gonna miss every shot the first three quarters and then just don’t miss no more? Stepback threes? You gonna give my point guard three hesies? You a bad motherf—–,” LeBron said to Curry.
Curry finished the 2013-14 season with averages of 24.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 8.5 assists. He guided the Warriors to the 2014 playoffs, where they lost to the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round in seven epic games.
Meanwhile, LeBron averaged 27.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 6.3 assists for the Heat, who lost to the San Antonio Spurs in the 2014 Finals. The Akron Hammer signed with the Cavs in the summer of 2014 after his four-year run in Miami, and his rivalry with Curry began.
Warriors and Cavs played in four straight Finals
The Warriors and Cavs played in four consecutive Finals from 2014-15 to 2017-18. Curry and the Dubs won the championship in 2015, 2017, and 2018, while LeBron and Co. won the 2016 Finals.
After the Cavs beat the Warriors in 2016, Kevin Durant signed with Golden State, making the team nearly unbeatable. Although LeBron and Kyrie Irving did all they could to keep up with the Dubs in the 2017 Finals, the duo couldn’t accomplish their goal.
In the summer of 2017, Irving requested a trade and was dealt to the Boston Celtics. LeBron got the Cavs back to the Finals sans Irving, but he was swept in 2018 since he didn’t have the proper supporting cast to compete with Durant, Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala.
A little-known fact is that LeBron and Curry were born in the same hospital in Akron, Ohio. They will likely always be linked and have great respect for one another despite being fierce rivals.