*As noted by NBA History, Stephen Curry set a Finals record for three-pointers made in a game (9) and now also has the highest lifetime total for threes made in the Finals (90). Ray Allen had the single-game record (8, 2010), and LeBron James had the highest career total (85 Sunday night’s game).
While Curry may be one of the most popular players in the NBA, his quick rise in the league has reportedly rubbed some of his peers the wrong way, most notably LeBron James.
“There’s this thing there with he and LeBron that’s a little weird,” said Marcus Thompson of The Athletic, author of the book “Golden: The Miraculous Rise of Steph Curry.”
According to Thompson, Step and LeBron were close during Curry’s days at Davidson to his early years in the league. LeBron was once “like a mentor” to Curry, but as Steph’s game improved, coinciding with the Warriors’ rise, he “challenged LeBron’s status.” Since then, the two men haven’t been as close, and it reportedly bothers Curry, per sfgate.com.
Thompson said: “The part that’s odd for Steph, like why does that mean there has to be some beef between us? He loves LeBron, he respects LeBron, and he’s like … ‘Because the outside world is pitting us together, why do you and I have to now have this disdain between us? I thought we were cool.’ “That’s the question that’s in Curry’s mind and Curry’s camp: ‘Why do you not like me when all I did was basically respect everything you did and kind of follow the model you carried out?’
LeBron isn’t the only player that has issues with Curry, and as Thompson noted: “Steph wants to be accepted by all these guys. This is what he worked for — for you to say, ‘Man, you’re one of us.’ It seems like they don’t want to give that to him. Not yet, anyway.”
According to the report, Thompson said the root of this disdain for Curry came from his leapfrogging so many players so quickly in the NBA’s elite and receiving adoration for it.
“I think if you ask them and they were being honest, they don’t like all the hype he gets, and they have to direct it that way. I think out of all of them, if somebody doesn’t like Steph Curry, I think it’s probably Westbrook. He just shows no sign of — this really ain’t about Steph. It’s bigger. His seems to be, ‘I don’t like that dude.’
“But LeBron and them, I think they will say: ‘Man, I like Steph. We can have a conversation.’ But there’s something that burns them about the fact that Steph is the one that is exalted, and because of that, they want to go at him and, in fact, kind of demean his hype. They want to take him down.”
Thompson says Curry is aware of this and plays with the mindset of dominating the competition enough that the players will be left with no choice but to respect him.