Why LeBron's comments on Curry prove he is a weak competitor and a bad team leader
Basketball

Why LeBron’s comments on Curry prove he is a weak competitor and a bad team leader

Lebron James management released the snippets of the discussion to promote the episode of the latest episode of HBO’s “The Shop” shortly after the Lakers had lost the slim chance they had of making the playoffs team via the play-in tournament.

“Steph Curry is the one I want to play with, for sure, in today’s game,” James said.

“[He’s] lethal, man. When he gets out of his car, you better guard him right from the moment he pulls up to the arena,” James added. “Soon as he gets out of his car, you better guard his ass. You might want to guard him when he gets out of bed. Swear to God.”

Many Lebron sympathizers are simply saying his comments are harmless and there is nothing wrong with him saying he admires Curry and would love to play with him, I beg to differ as there is no way Lebron and his team can act like this comment won’t spark wide reactions among NBA media and fans.

There is a time and place to have basketball conversations about favourite players to play alongside and no time could be worse than when a team fancied by most fans, pundits, and bookmakers at the beginning of the season to win the NBA championship failed to even make the playoffs

I believe LeBron’s comments about playing with Curry show a lot about his weak competitive drive and his poor leadership skills despite the fact that he is undoubtedly one of the greatest players to ever play the beautiful game of basketball.

What does Lebron comments about wishing to play with Curry say about Westbrook and Anthony Davis, players who are superstars in their own right and are his current teammates?

Lebron has made it a habit in recent times to sometimes subtly belittle his present or ex-team-mates especially when things are not going his way or he has had a bad season.

After he left Cleveland in 2018, he belittled Kyrie by calling him a kid in interviews after they both played a major part in winning the championship for the Cavaliers.

He also went on a now-infamous rant in the early days of his Lakers career screaming that he needed more playmakers in the early days of his Lakers career which led to the eventual trade of Lonzo Ball, Ingram, Kuzma, and a host of other Laker players which allowed the Lakers to get Anthony Davis whom he desperately wanted to play with.

While the failure of the Lakers to qualify for the playoffs cannot be sorely blamed on Lebron as Westbrook’s poor performance and Anthony Davis’ unfortunate injury struggles were a thorn in the flesh of the Lakers.

Lebron lack of effort in defense and inability to set the tone of the team intensity at critical moments during the season eventually led to the team crumbling.

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At some point during the regular season, it became apparent that Lebron was clearly stat-padding points trying to close the gap to Kareem Abdul Jabber all-time points record instead of trying to inspire the Lakers to victory.

It could thus be legitimately argued that Lebron had given up on the Lakers midway through the season.

The future direction of the Lakers organization is in serious shambles as the management, coaching staff and the players are wondering how what promised to be a great season in which they were tipped as the favourites to win the Championship, especially with the addition of Russell Westbrook turned out to be a catastrophic failure.

At the moment, the future of Head Coach Frank Vogel and key franchise players such as Lebron James, Russell Westbrook, and Anthony Davis seem to be in disarray as it is unclear if the Lakers would keep the core of this team or they would dismantle the entire team which is in line with what most fans and analysts think will likely take place during the offseason.

On the other hand, Lebron recent gushing over and admiration of Curry’s talent show, a trend which he started within the last 3 years shows that he is a weak competitor and he is more than willing to go through the easiest route to win a title.

Back in the days Lebron James and Steph Curry had an intense rivalry as they battled to be recognized as the best player in the NBA and the best team in the NBA. There was constant smack talking between the pair as well as epic performances by both players during regular-season games and numerous NBA finals.

While Lebron has more individual awards and career accomplishments than Curry, Curry’s team dominated their rivalry as the Warriors held a 3-1 lead over Lebron’s Cavaliers in the 4 NBA finals between the Warriors and Cavaliers between 2015 – 2018 season.

Even at the ripe old age of 37, many media analysts and pundits still cling to the idea that Lebron is the best player in the NBA, the most reliable player to build a team around, and the most consistent player in the playoffs.

If Lebron is indeed still the best player in the NBA, why does he want to play with other great players in the same team and why has that been a recurring trend throughout his illustrious career?

Shouldn’t he want to prove to the world that he still remains the best player in the league?
Shouldn’t he want to prove that he can take his team to the NBA finals?
Shouldn’t he look forward to beating other top players in the NBA finals instead of teaming up with them?

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The truth is throughout his career, Lebron has always teamed up with other players to form superteams so that the path to winning a Championship can be easier for him and while that does not take away from the fact that he remains a great player, it does provide valid criticisms about how weak of a competitor he is.

He infamously had to form a superteam with Dwayne Wayne and Chris Bosh in Miami Heat in order to defeat the Boston Celtic Big three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen. While they promised 7 championships they ended up winning 2 championships in 4 seasons.

After the Heat project crumbled, he joined forces with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in the Cavaliers which ended up in them winning a single championship against the Warriors in 2016 in what is still regarded as the greatest comeback in NBA finals history.

In the 2019 – 2020 bubble season affected by the pandemic, he teamed up with Anthony Davis to defeat an injury-ravaged Miami Heat side led by Jimmy Butler to win his only NBA Championship with the Lakers.

Throughout his career he was won 4 championships, two with the Miami Heat, one with the Cavaliers, and one with the Lakers, this has been helped in large part by Lebron forming superteams and literally hand-picking the players and the team he wants to play in.

Now, we are in the 2021 – 2022 season after the Lakers have did not qualify for the playoffs and from all indications, it is quite obvious that Lebron desperately wants to leave the failed Lakers experiment and join a new team. What better way to annoy Lakers fans and loyalists than by claiming you would love to play with Steph Curry, a rival who is playing with one of the best teams in the league.

If Lebron is such a great leader why can’t he help to build a franchise and remain with them during the hard times when things aren’t working out.

Curry remained with the Warriors after Kevin Durant left the team and during Klay Thompson’s long and arduous recovery from his Achilles injury and he is enjoying the fruits of his patience as the Warriors have successfully used that time to develop a roster of young and exciting players who are ready to compete for championships.

Lebron on the other hand forced the Lakers to trade for his friends and old veterans in a failed experiment and he is willing to let Frank Vogel and the Lakers management take the blame for the Lakers’ catastrophic season.

Thus Lebron’s recent comments going by his antecedents show that he is a weak competitor and bad team leader who looks for an easy win to win Championships and abandons his team when things are tough.

Adedayo Adekunle

Adedayo Adekunle is an ardent sports fan who covers football, tennis and basketball news for Sportsration. He also loves technology and share his thoughts on tips and tricks to simplify your life on his site technologygist.com

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