Things are sure to get heated between the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors, but the team’s top two superstars are taking the high road to start the series. LeBron James spoke at length about his admiration for Curry pointing out the Warriors guard has “put in the work” to have such a high level of success. James listed off the similarities between himself and Curry noting that both have had success by playing “our own way.”
“Two of the most competitive players that’s ever played this game, and we want to etch our names in the history books as much as we can by doing it our own way,” James told reporters on May 1, 2023. “Like I said, I got nothing but the greatest [admiration] and greatest respect for Steph.”
James and the Lakers will be looking for a way to slow down Curry heading into the marquee playoff matchup. Curry posted 50 points, eight rebounds and six assists to propel the Warriors to a Game 7 victory over the Kings setting up a postseason series against the Lakers.
LeBron James on Steph Curry: ‘He Puts in the Work’
Things have gotten heated at times between James and Curry dating back to the NBA finals appearances between Golden State and Cleveland. Since James joined the Lakers, the four-time MVP has been extremely complimentary of Curry. This prompted some wild speculation that James was aiming to recruit Curry prior to the star signing a contract extension with the Warriors in 2021. Heading into the second-round matchup, James continued to praise Curry noting that he has the “utmost respect” for the Golden State legend.
“He puts in the work,” James said of Curry. “When you put in the work, nine times out of 10 you’re going to see the results, and he’s done that throughout his whole entire career. I got nothing but the utmost respect for Steph and everything he’s been able to accomplish.
“Not only on the floor but also off the floor, too. It’s great to have people like that in this league to set an example for the generation to come.”
Steph Curry on Facing Lakers & LeBron James: ‘It’s Amazing Because You’re Still in the Fight’
Curry admitted that the Warriors are facing a much different Lakers team than the one that took the floor prior to the overhauled roster at the NBA trade deadline. Overall, Curry only expressed gratitude to face James again given Sacramento had Golden State on the ropes during the first round.
“It’s amazing [facing James] because you’re still in the fight,” Curry said during an April 30 press conference after the Warriors advanced to the second round. “It’s better than the alternative of [being] on the outside looking in. And having been down O-2 in this series, nothing’s guaranteed and you don’t take anything for granted.
“And it is special, from the first series we played him in Cleveland [in the] 14-15 season to now, we’re blessed to be playing at this level still and excited about a new chapter. Two teams trying to keep your season alive and chase the championship and that’s what it’s all about.”