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Steph Curry explains his ”I'm cool right now“ comment to LeBron James saying he'd like to play with Steph

A lot of people say loyalty no longer exists in the NBA. Steph Curry proves them wrong.
Team LeBron forward LeBron James shakes hands with Team LeBron guard Stephen Curry after the 2022 NBA All-Star Game

Steph Curry and LeBron James 

LeBron James has been flirting with Steph Curry for a while now. From praising him during All-Star weekend to naming Steph as the one guy in the NBA he'd like to play with. Curry's only response to that was, ”I'm cool right now.” In a preview of his appearance on Draymond Green's podcast, Steph elaborated on that comment. 

Thank you, but no, thank you

It seems years ago, but remember when Curry was lighting everyone on fire chasing the 3-pt record? LeBron started the season of compliments praising Steph and how he revolutionized the game. Then came the All-Star weekend compliments that Brian Windhorst called hilarious and speculated James “obviously begun the recruiting of Steph, just in the event that he wouldn't extend and that somehow he would become a free agent and that the Lakers would have a swing at him."

But the most obvious move, the moment you say "f**k it" and try to get that kiss at the end of the date, was LeBron on his own TV show "The Shop," so you know this wasn't no accident.“In today's game...Steph Curry. Steph Curry is the one I want to play with for sure.” Steph's response was short and to the point. 

In an upcoming episode of Draymond's podcast, Steph opened up about the roots of their relationship - turns out he has LeBron's signed jersey framed on the wall - and why he made it clear teaming up with James is not an option for him. 

“I will never be so far removed from playing in Detroit, in the Sweet Sixteen, and this dude was in his fourth or fifth year in the league and he's coming to my game, supporting and cheering. The fact that we're 13 years removed from that, and he's saying that is crazy. A lot of people don't know, he gave me a jersey when I was in college at Davidson and I still have it on the wall at my parents' house back in Charlotte.

LeBron signed the jersey and wrote, “To the best player in N.C.” Even after becoming the first unanimous MVP in NBA history and winning everything he's won, Steph still doesn't take that moment for granted. The fact LeBron had faith in him while he was at Davidson still holds a lot of value in Steph's mind. But when it comes to teaming up, Curry is cut from the old-school cloth. 

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“If you take a fantasy draft, you for what Bron can do and the way I can shoot the ball, obviously there's a curiosity. “What would that look like?” But, there's a realism, and that's why I said “I'm good right now.” You can never let your mind go from what you know is your situation, what is your moment, your time, and who I've been rocking with [points to Draymond] from day 1.” 

Steph Curry, The Draymond Green podcast

Seems weird when an NBA player gives an honest response that at the same time acknowledges everyone daydreams of playing with other great players but also lets everyone know he's gonna continue rocking with his crew. The fact Steph is so natural and authentic is a major part of why he's LeBron's biggest rival. 

LeBron's biggest rival

Look, in a perfect world, you want your rivals to play the same position. But if that isn't the case, facing each other in the Finals four times in a row will do. In his chase of Michael Jordan's six rings, Steph Curry turned out to be LeBron's biggest obstacle. (I know, I know, Kevin Durant joining the Warriors had something to do with it.) But if any player has been LeBron's biggest rival, it's, without a doubt, Steph Curry. 

Given the fact KD and LeBron actually guarded each other quite a lot in some of those Finals, some would make the case Durant gets that title. But Steph has something Durant doesn't - something LeBron craves at all times. For a significant period, Steph was the most popular, most beloved NBA star. 

It's not just about what's on the court. LeBron invests a lot of time into his overall media persona, and Steph is the only person that ever matched LeBron in that arena as much as he did on the basketball court. For a few years, Curry was the undisputed champion of hearts and minds, and it wasn't even close. A major part of it is the fact he doesn't seem hyper-produced in the way LeBron does. 

And when it comes to the game, both had a lasting impact. Steph revolutionized the geometry of the court and how the game is played with his insane shooting - most people believe for the better. LeBron revolutionized free agency, player movement, and established player empowerment - that one got a lot more mixed reviews. 

He doesn't work on his status as much as LeBron does, but one day, hopefully not very soon, don't be surprised if Steph Curry is right up there with LeBron and the rest in the Pantheon of basketball. 

Doing it all with one team, the way Duncan, Kobe, or Nowitzki did, will be a major plus in Steph's biography. We just hope he's not the last superstar who appreciates the value of “rocking with the same crew from day 1.” 

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