Who is better, LeBron James or Stephen Curry?
What Does Influential Mean?
When I mean influential, I mean how they have affected the game. Jordan, Kareem, and Durant are all exceptional global brands that are widely known, but that is not what I’m referencing. Stephen Curry has fundamentally changed how we watch, look at, and play the game of basketball. Starting at even the youth rec leagues, kids are now pulling up for transition threes, unheard of until Curry popularized it. However, LeBron isn’t a slouch in that department. LeBron James is one of the most universally recognized names and faces in the entire world. But his greatness in comparison to Curry’s is unmatched.
While not necessarily changing the way it’s played, LeBron James has massively affected the way you play it and has changed some aspects. The celebration is a significant example of this. I mean his snapping the broom over his knee, then smacking his chest in excitement. But let’s dive further in.
Stephen Curry Has Revolutionized The Game Of Basketball
The first aspect that I want to discuss is the homegrown strategy. In recent times, the NBA has seen massive growth in teams trying to buy a championship, build “super teams” rather than grow their prospects, and slowly make their way up the hierarchy. The Golden State Warriors have done precisely that. Through the draft, they acquired Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry, and Draymond Green, their entire central core. Not to mention the absolute perfect hiring of Steve Kerr, a guy who knows how to utilize and specify the three-pointer, as he was one of the main guys in his day. Just ask Jordan, saved his ass with it.
Another example is simply the use of the three-point shot. Before Stephen Curry, the shot was used, but not nearly at the rate, it is today. It’s even allowed players to get massive paydays solely due to their shooting ability. The perfect example of this is Duncan Robinson. An undrafted free agent, Robinson signed with the Miami Heat and was crucial for their final run in 2020. He shot 44 percent in the 2019-2020 season and earned a massive five-year contract. Which I’d argue is 95% due to Stephen Curry that he was signed out of the draft at all.
LeBron Is Still Greater Though
Coming out of high school, LeBron James had the highest expectations of any athlete ever. He was expected to go out of the gates and be the greatest to play the sport. Looking at it now, James demolished every expectation he was asked of nearly 20 years later. One of the biggest obstacles he faced was changing the NBA and dealing with Stephen Curry. If you’re reading this article, all likelihood is that you’re aware of the rivalry the two had throughout the 2010s. From 2015 to 2019, every year, it was those two facing off in the finals. It was fascinating until Kevin Durant entered the picture, but that doesn’t matter.
In NBA circles, there is a great debate about who is the greatest NBA player ever to live. If you are speaking to an intelligent, respectable fan, there are only two possible answers: LeBron James and Michael Jordan. When he entered the NBA, LeBron was dubbed the next Jordan, the person supposed to take on the mantle of being the next all-time great.
It’s challenging to think of any other athlete who was thought of like this and managed to succeed. LeBron has had arguably the most remarkable career ever. He has won multiple MVPs and championships, been the NBA’s perfect golden boy, and stayed out of trouble. Now, it’s all up to father time to see whether or not LeBron will be the definitive GOAT.