ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith says he suspects there is a healthy level of fear that LeBron James has for Steph Curry ahead of their Round 2 playoffs match up on Tuesday.
“I suspect there’s a healthy level of fear … of Steph Curry,” Smith said on First Take. “And let me tell you something else: It’s justified. It’s justified. I ain’t insulting him. Hell, if I wasn’t rooting for the Golden State Warriors, I’d be scared of Steph. Who ain’t scared of Steph?”
LeBron may be the league’s all-time leading scorer in regular season and playoffs, but as Smith pointed out, Curry’s Golden State team is just one of two franchises that LeBron has a losing record against in the postseason.
“Steph Curry has been a walking nightmare for LeBron James,” Smith said. “LeBron knows what’s coming. … And let me tell you something right now, he is very worried. Doesn’t mean he won’t be ready, doesn’t mean he won’t show up, doesn’t mean he won’t make sure he does his part. But is he worried? You’re damn right he’s worried.”
LeBron paid Steph the ultimate compliment at Lakers practice on Monday: “I have 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.”
During their storied careers, the pair have met 43 times in total – 20 of those in the regular season and 22 times in the playoffs.
In the regular season, they have an even 10-10 record but Steph has a 15-7 winning record over King James in the postseason – a feat a rare number of players have achieved.
Those past records won’t mean much though when Curry and James step out onto the court on Tuesday in Game 1, and a new chapter in their rivalry begins.