Steph Curry has yet to sign a contract extension with the Golden State Warriors which LeBron James has clearly taken notice of with his eyes on getting the sharpshooter in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform. The idea is a longshot but ESPN’s Brian Windhorst believes James used the NBA All-Star game to begin making his Lakers’ pitch to his former rival.
“I thought it was hilarious over All-Star Weekend, LeBron praising Steph up one side and down the other,” Windhorst explained on The Hoop Collective podcast. “How much he loves his game, how much he respects him. LeBron has obviously put the full-court press, not the full-court press. LeBron has obviously begun [the] recruiting of Steph just in the event that he wouldn’t extend and that somehow he would become a free agent and the Lakers would have a swing at him.”
To be clear, Windhorst is not suggesting James is making a full recruiting pitch to Curry on behalf of the Lakers. This would be tampering, but no NBA insider has followed James more than Windhorst. It is worth watching as Windhorst believes James’ comments to Curry are clearly calculated.
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LeBron’s Public Praise of Steph Shows the Lakers Star Believes There Is ‘Doubt’ on His Future With the Warriors
Windhorst’s comments received pushback from his co-host with both Marc Spears and Nick Fridell emphasizing their expectations that Curry will ultimately re-sign with the Warriors. Curry’s current contract runs through the 2021-22 season, and the guard will hit free agency next offseason unless he signs an extension.
“But I just want to point out, LeBron thinks there’s some doubt,” Windhorst responded to the idea that Curry will re-sign with the Warriors. “Otherwise, he wouldn’t be doing this, because I know he feels a certain way about Steph because I watched it for four straight years. …LeBron started recruiting him at the All-Star break. …Just to be clear, Steph is eligible for a contract extension this summer, and LeBron started recruiting him at All-Star break.”
LeBron on Playing with Steph: ‘I Loved Every Single Second’
Windhorst is referring to James selecting Curry to be on his team for the 2021 NBA All-Star game and later praising the guard on social media. James noted on Twitter that he “loved every single second” of playing with Curry.
“Finally got to share the floor with @StephenCurry30!” James tweeted. “Well overdue and I loved every single second!! #GreatestShooterOfAllTime #ChangedHowTheGameIsPlayedByHimselfAlone #RespectBeyondWords #JustSomeKidsBornInAKRON🤴🏾”
It remains to be seen whether Curry will ever test free agency, but James appears to be doing his part to plant a seed just in case. The feeling is mutual as Curry called teaming up with James at the All-Star game a “great experience.”
“It was a great experience,” Curry noted in his All-Star game press conference. “We had fun in the locker room chopping it up. I know he was managing his minutes tonight, but it was good energy in the first quarter. That’s part of being around this league long enough. Obviously, the new format with the All-Star game mixing and matching conferences, even though he’s in the West now. It’s bound to happen, and we had a great time. Obviously, representing him as the captain, KD on the other side and we got the win. So, it was a memorable night for sure.”
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