Two opposing forces of nature and generational talents, but only one is regularly featured in GOAT discussions, and it's the wrong one. Here are six reasons why Steph Curry is ahead of LeBron James regarding the greatest of all time discussions.
When it comes to the number of championships won, Curry and James are tied with four apiece. LeBron won for the L.A. Lakers, Miami Heat, and Cleveland Cavaliers, while Steph won all of his rings with the Golden State Warriors.
For basketball purists who claim championships cement a player’s greatness, the Warriors and Lakers stars fit into that category. The good thing about it is that they still have a chance to add more to their tally but based on the current lineups of their teams, it looks like Curry has a greater chance of winning another one than James and the rebuilding Lakers.
Swept in the Finals
In their head-to-head matchups, Steph can brag that he has swept LeBron in the Finals. The Warriors won the 2018 finals via a 4-0 sweep of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Some critics can bring up that Curry needed Kevin Durant to win the 2018 title, but it can’t erase the fact that LeBron got swept in that series. In fact, James had been swept twice; the other one was against the San Antonio Spurs in the 2007 finals.
As such, The King became the first player to get swept in two different NBA Finals since Los Angeles Lakers’ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson in 1983 and 1989.
Chef Curry has a better Finals record than The King
Steph is 4-2 in finals while LBJ is 4-6. Curry has a 67% winning rate whenever he plays in the Finals, while James only has a 40% chance of making it. Numbers-wise, it’s wiser to bet on Steph winning it all than LeBron.
In the list of players released by Land of Basketball, Chef Curry is ranked 85th, along with other players who have a 67% winning percentage in the finals. Meanwhile, James is ranked in the 248th spot, alongside JR Smith and Dick Barnett. Among those on top of the list are Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, John Havlicek, and those who never lost a Finals series.
Steph Curry stayed loyal to The Warriors
Steph is still with the team that drafted him. Bradley Beal, Damian Lillard, Giannis Antetokoumpo, Nikola Jokic, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Joel Embiid are also with the teams that drafted them, but Giannis and Curry are the only superstars to win an MVP and deliver a title to the team they played for their whole careers.
On the other hand, James had to join a super team in Miami and get surrounded by All-Star or former star players in Cleveland and Los Angeles to win championships. So let’s remember, he quit on the Cavaliers the first time because he couldn’t get over the Boston Celtics. It might be a business decision on his part, but when loyalty is discussed, his name shouldn’t be mentioned in the same sentence as Steph Curry.
Curry had lesser All-Star teammates than James
LeBron James had more support or needed more help to be successful. The Athletic released its own NBA’s Top 75 players of all time, and it reminded us that James had been teammates with Dwyane Wade, Russell Westbrook, Ray Allen, Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard, Shaquille O’Neal, and Carmelo Anthony. Those are five future Hall of Famers and two Hall of Famers. Meanwhile, Curry had been teammates with Kevin Durant, the only one among the Top 75 list of The Athletic.
Let’s also remember James was teammates with Kevin Love, Chris Bosh, and Kyrie Irving. On the other hand, Curry had Boogie Cousins, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, and Andre Iguodala as former All-Star teammates. If this isn’t enough to prove that The King needed or had more All-Star and Hall of Famer teammates than Chef Curry, then we don’t know what else will.
Steph Curry changed the game
Young hoopers are now attempting to shoot logo 3s in gyms because they want to be the next Steph Curry. Given his size and body frame, Steph is closer to an average guy than James. Not everyone can dunk or block shots like James, so young players try to shoot like Steph. The Warriors star is more relatable to them. He wasn’t as good when he started, but he worked for it, and it opened the eyes of every basketball-loving fan in the world: what Steph has achieved can also be done through hard work and dedication.
Teams had to counter the Warriors by drafting shooters. Coaches have to work overtime to devise a plan to stop Curry, and they still fail most of the time. No one should be able to make 3-point shots as much as Steph, more so in the distance, he is taking them.
LeBron James fans will have their say but based on this evidence, Steph Curry should be ahead on anyone’s GOAT list.