Before his devastating block on Andre Iguodala in Game 7, the most talked about rejection during the NBA Finals was LeBron James’ swat of Steph Curry in Game 6. The King followed it up with a torrent of trash talk and a look of absolute disgust that many took at the time to simply be the release of competitive spirit.
There might have been more to that moment, however.
On Tuesday, Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group released his new book, Golden, which details Curry’s rise to a two-time MVP.
Over the weekend, Thompson joined Jason McIntyre on The Big Lead to talk about the book, and shed some light on the dynamic between some of the games’ top superstars. According to Thompson, LeBron, along with Russell Westbrook, are not fond of Curry and the hype he has received:
“I think if you ask them and they’re 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 ain’t really 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 demean his hype. They want to take him down.”
Being the competitors they are, of course LeBron and Westbrook would want to beat Curry, but this seems to go beyond just a simple need to defeat anyone in your path to a championship. It’s also interesting to hear the reasoning being the way the media hypes Curry.
While LeBron and Westbrook certainly have gotten their fair share of praise in the media, this resentment could come from the fact that they’ve also faced much more criticism than Curry, who has had his share of disappointing moments -- getting ejected for throwing his mouthpiece and tossing an inexplicable behind-the-back pass out of bounds, both in the Finals last season -- on the big stage.