After facing each other in four consecutive NBA Finals — not to mention being born in the same city of Akron, Ohio — NBA superstars Stephen Curry and LeBron James will join forces for the first time at any level in the league’s All-Star game on Sunday.
That’s largely because of the All-Star format, which used separate East and West. Those days are gone, and James selected Curry third in this season’s All-Star draft, after James chose Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo first overall. Nets forward Kevin Durant, the other captain opposite James. picked his teammate, guard Kyrie Irving.
Curry and James have never played together on Team USA, with Curry appearing in the FIBA World Cup but yet to play in the Olympics, due in part to his ankle issues in 2012.
Even after all their history facing each other and never being on the same team — with James losing three of his four Finals appearances against Curry and Golden State — there’s much respect between the two, per Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Simmons described a scene in which James was in the midst of an interview with reporters when he dropped everything to say what’s up to Curry.
James leaped up from his seat, ripped off his headphones, and leaned in for a hug with the Warriors point guard.
Say what you will about the history between James and Curry — and there’s a lot — but the rivalry has always been built on respect. That was reiterated Thursday when James selected Curry to play with him in Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game.Rusty Simmons/San Francisco Chronicle
All of that is honestly fantastic. But I’ve got to say, it smells a little fake to me, especially from James side. And I don’t say that because I’ve watched the Warriors religiously since 1994. Remember the Curry and Klay Thompson “R.I.P.” Halloween cookies, the fall after Curry and the Warriors lost a 3-1 Finals lead in 2016?
I mean, I can take a joke, at least I like to think I can. But man. that’s kinda messed up. Especially considering that per Simmons’ article, guests to James’ Halloween party reportedly had to step over a mummy of Curry to get in. Ouch. As if the blown 3-1 series lead wasn’t enough.
But hey, ancient history I suppose. Perhaps I just figure others will hold a grudge. It should be fascinating to watch the two on the same team for the first time. It’s overdue, for an exhibition at least, and should be a treat for the fans — much more of a treat than those cookies. Yuck.
(Photo credit: Erik Drost)