LeBron, other NBA stars have no love for Curry

FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2017 file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James waits during a timeout in the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings in Cleveland. After James was criticized by Charles Barkley for questioning Cleveland’s front office, James tore into the former NBA star and opinionated TV commentator on Monday, Jan. 30,  following a loss in Dallas.  (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

LeBron James and other big NBA stars reportedly have “disdain” for Steph Curry. Is that deserved?

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The story:

Though Stephen Curry has undergone a somewhat sudden rise to one of the NBA’s most popular players and the league’s first unanimous MVP, he apparently has work to do within the league. According to Marcus Thompson of Bay Area News Group, author of the newly released “Golden: The Miraculous Rise of Steph Curry,” Curry is not all that popular with some of the league’s biggest stars, including LeBron James. Thompson was a guest on “The Big Lead with Jason McIntyre” on Sunday to discuss his new book. He said Curry’s sudden rise and popularity, particularly amongst fans and the media, had turned some players against him. “There’s this thing there with he and LeBron that’s a little weird,” Thompson said. According to Thompson, James and Curry were close from Curry’s days at Davidson to his early years in the league. Thompson said James was “like a mentor” to Curry, but as Curry’s game improved, coinciding with the Warriors’ rise, he “challenged LeBron’s status.” Since then, the two haven’t been as close, and it bothers Curry.

Marcus Thompson:

“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.”

Marcus Thompson on who else feels this way:

Everybody on the Clippers … Chris Paul was one of those guys. Chris Paul was somebody [Curry] looked up to. Chris Paul used to dominate that matchup. Chris Paul was supposed to be next in line to win a championship. Then, suddenly, it was Steph … that’s another relationship where [Curry] was like, ‘oh, I look up to you,’ and suddenly there is this disdain vs Steph. There’s a lot of those …

NBA Finals, last year:

Thompson brought up a key moment in last year’s NBA Finals when James blocked Curry’s shot in Game 6. After blocking it, James turned back and trash-talked Curry. Thompson noted you “never see him do that against anybody else.” He says part of what feeds into that is players want to “go the extra mile to disprove [Curry’s] hype.”

Westbrook laughing at a question about Steph’s defense:

Westbrook, again, on Steph:

Marcus Thompson, on Steph:

“The part that’s odd for Steph, like why does that mean there has to be some beef between us? He loves LeBron, he respects LeBron, and he’s like … because the outside world is pitting us together, why do you and I have to now have this disdain between us? I thought we were cool. That’s the question that’s in Curry’s mind and Curry’s camp: Why do you not like me when all I did was basically respect everything you did and kind of follow the model you carried out? So there’s an interesting dynamic there, and it’s not just with LeBron. Steph wants to be accepted by all these guys. This is what he worked for — for you to say, ‘Man, you’re one of us.’ It seems like they don’t want to give that to him. Not yet, anyway.”

Dan Le Batard:

SportsNation:

What do you think? Is the disdain deserved?

Debate by downloading our app on iOS at apple.co/1ITwL4w or on Android at bit.ly/fandings. You also can play online at playfandings.com.