In a recent interview, two great backcourt duos of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson on one end, and Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars on the other sat down to discuss a lot of things related to basketball and NBA in general. One of the specific topics of their discussion was the difference in approach of playing against all-time great players. Thomas and Dumars had to go through Jordan on their way to championships and Curry and Thompson over LeBron James for three years in a row.
Curry has a lot of respect for LeBron, and the way he approaches the game while controlling the tempo of as he wishes. LeBron can impose his presence on the court, which, in Curry's opinion, is one of his biggest strengths. When the Warriors faced the Cavaliers all those times in the finals, all five Warriors players had to be aware where LeBron is on the court and what his next move will be.
"In terms of one guy being able to change the course of the game the way he can by controlling the pace. He does things that look like "how did he do that," and it doesn't matter how great of defense you play on him. The sheer strength and power to get to the basket. He obviously developed that outside game. It's something that you need all antennas up, all five guys every night, and you know if you don't bring it he will try to expose you."
Curry said the first matchup against him in the 2014/15 NBA finals was an eye-opener on how great of a player he was. That series went to six games, and it was the first championship won by the Warriors. This series also showed Curry what kind of level of competition he would be facing, which was beneficial for his further development as a player.
"That first championship run matching up against him and some of the things he did on a nightly basis it was spectacular. At the end of the day, that gives you, even more, competitiveness and fire to try and figure out how to overcome it and still win. It also gives you a bit more gratifying feeling when you do it."