According to ESPN, even though the Warriors won the title last year, that didn’t stop superstar LeBron James from saying that he still wants to land a championship ring and that the Lakers would be a “perfect fit” for him. And now, the defending NBA Champions have made a trade to try to get that ring.
Well, we’re definitely in a strange place in the NBA playoff race, and while the Warriors have taken care of business in their first-round series with the Portland Trailblazers, the Los Angeles Lakers and Stephen Curry appear to be stuck in a dogfight with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Lakers and Thunder are tied 1-1 in the series with just one more game to go, and while the Lakers have been looking pretty awful during the series, the Thunder are finding their groove as the series progresses.
In a game that no one could have predicted at the beginning of the season, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers will take on Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night in the NBA’s Western Conference playoff race. Since the match will air on ESPN, Kenny Smith will not have the opportunity to properly promote the match between the two future Hall of Fame inductees on TNT. But that didn’t stop the two-time NBA champion from offering his opinion on who he considers the best player of the moment.
Kenny Smith prefers Stephen Curry to LeBron James as the best player in the world
Let’s get it right from the start. Before the Lakers’ game against the Warriors on Wednesday night, Smith gave his opinion on the match between superstars James and Curry, calling the latter the best player not only in the play-in game, but on the entire planet. As good as LeBron is… the best player on the planet is Stephen Curry. Kenny Smith on LeBron James vs Stephen Curry That’s certainly a bold assumption, and looking only at the latest numbers, Smith would be right. LeBron played in just three games in May and fell short of his career average with 22.7 points, 6.7 assists and five rebounds in those three games. Curry is averaging 36.8 points, 5.6 assists and 5.1 rebounds in eight games this month. It should be noted, however, that James played an average of just 27.6 minutes in those three games (much less than his season average of 33.4 minutes) due to an injury to his right ankle. Curry played an average of 34.5 minutes per game in May. Like all season, James averaged 25.0 points, 7.8 assists and 7.7 rebounds, while Curry had a game-high 32.0 points, 5.8 assists and 5.5 rebounds. So right now, it’s very close. But really, Kenny has a habit of not giving LeBron as much respect as others.
LeBron barely made Smith’s top 10 last year.
COMPARED TO: The real difference between LeBron James and Michael Jordan’s NBA Finals records During an appearance last summer on the Complex Sports Load Management podcast, Smith revealed some of his top 10 greatest NBA players of all time and drew the ire of many by saying that James was number 10 on his list, even adding, perhaps to make things worse for LeBron fans. The Jet threw oil on the fire by saying Kobe Bryant wasn’t even in his top 10. As for his reasoning, Smith said it’s much easier to score points today, making it difficult to assess players’ abilities. That’s why he chose old school players like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and even his Inside the NBA teammate Shaquille O’Neal, among others. Sure, Smith has been bombarded with criticism for his comments on social media, but he’s certainly entitled to his own opinion, as is his current opinion of Steph and LeBron. And it’s not that this last statement is so offensive, as James himself says Curry should be named NBA MVP for what he’s done this season.
James thinks Curry should be named NBA MVP
Stephen Curry and LeBron Jams face off during the 2018 Lakers vs. Warriors match | Ethan Miller/Getty Images COMPARED TO: Stephen Curry responds to Baron Davis’ absurd statement that the Warriors challenged the Dubs’ best team to win thetitle. After the Lakers and Warriors made it official in the qualifying tournament, James, who knows all too well what it’s like to play against Curry in key situations, praised his longtime rival and said he should be named the best player of the season. We play Steph, who I believe is the MVP of our league this year. Just look at what he has accomplished this year. Everyone thought he’d be gone this year, everyone said he couldn’t lead the team alone without Clay….. He did that and more… If Steph is not on Golden State’s team, what are we looking at? LeBron James on Stephen Curry Here’s how. Probably James doesn’t really think Curry is better than him, but at least he can sing his praises. Statistics provided by Basketball Reference