I’ll start by saying this, Wardell Stephen Curry is one helluva basketball player. He’s very deserving of the MVP this year, all of the acclaim and adulation that comes his way as well. The Golden State Warriors’ rise/success coincides with his maturation and growth as a basketball player. 402 3 Pointers made is absurd. Unanimous MVP, CHECK. Leading man on a 73-9 team, unbelievable. In a short span, Stephen Curry has accomplished enough to quite possibly put him in the Hall of Fame right now.
He’s not the King though…
Now that I got that out of the way, I’ll get straight to the point. There’s been lots of talk all year about LeBron James and his standing amongst the NBA’s elite. Make absolutely no mistakes, the conversation of the best basketball player in the world starts and ends with one LeBron Raymone James. End of Discussion.
We’ve never seen a player quite like Stephen Curry (Offensively). Only once before have we seen a player with Stephen Curry’s innate ability to shoot and dribble the ball at elite levels simultaneously. My biggest issues with Stephen Curry are that too often he fails to elevate the play of his teammates, he’s very careless with the basketball, and lastly he shoots some horrible, HORRIBLE shots. The last point, the remarkable shots from the parking lot are breathtaking when they’re going in. When they are not falling for him, as evidenced in game 6 of these 2016 NBA Finals, they are in way detrimental to what the Warriors want to accomplish.
Stephen Curry has benefitted greatly from a supporting cast unlike any other. The Warriors are blessed with solid basketball players both in the starting unit and off the bench. Curry is able to be his brilliant offensive self due to his environment. LeBron on the other hand is forced to orchestrate the Cavs offense and defense down to every little detail. We’ve never seen a player with as much power as LeBron possesses.
The way that LeBron has had his imprint on the past 5 NBA Finals is quite simply absurd. The singular best player in each of the past 5 NBA Finals has been LeBron James. That, my friends, is not up for debate. The 2016 edition of the Finals has now seen LeBron lead the series in Points, Rebounds (tied with Tristan Thompson), Assists, Blocks and Steals. Let that sink in for a minute.
LeBron leads all active players in every major category during these Finals. The way that he affects the game on all fronts just has to be applauded. Even if LeBron weren’t my favorite player in the world, I’d tip my hat off to him time and time again. In the age of social media and memes, one poor performance can go a long way in discrediting a lifetime of achievements.
We as fans (fanatics) get caught up in the game and tend to live in the moment. After the Game 4 loss, myself and many other LeBron fans/critics implored him to be more aggressive; we begged LeBron to show that killer instinct that we loved Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant for. He responded with an historic Game 5, only to follow that up with an insane Game 6 that now has the Cavs on the verge of pulling off Mission: Impossible. In a week LeBron has turned into Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise’s character in the Mission: Impossible Series).
With all of that being said, Sunday just can’t come soon enough. A series of this magnitude had to go 7 games. However, whatever happens, LBJ has proven that the crown rests comfortably on his head. There will be many challengers to the throne, Curry, KD and Westbrook chief among them. We’ll be quite hard-pressed to find another superstar who’s able to balance out the highs and lows of being an elite basketball player like LeBron James. Checkmate.