Though the so-called superteam that the Los Angeles Lakers built this season didn’t exactly yield the results they expected and James Harden brought an abrupt end to the Big Three of the once championship-favorite Brooklyn Nets, the practice of superstar NBA players joining forces isn’t likely to stop any time soon. If the goal is to win a title, surrounding yourself with the best possible teammates increases your odds more than virtually any other factor.
With LeBron James taking heat for the acquisition of Russell Westbrook that led to the Lakers officially failing to make the play-in this season in one of the biggest disappointments, odds-wise at least, in recent NBA history, it’s only natural to speculate on the changes Los Angeles will make to its roster before next season. And if James feels the Lakers haven’t turned themselves into a championship contender by the end of the summer, would he contemplate a trade demand? Unlikely, sure. But we’ve seen crazy things happen in the NBA.
This line of thinking makes James’ comments in an upcoming episode of “The Shop” fertile ground for speculation and rumormongering. When asked who he would most like to play with in the NBA, James’ first answer was his son, Bronny James, currently a junior in high school. When asked about which current NBA player he’d like to team up with, however, the elder James got the Twitter wheels turning.
“In today’s game, sh– there’s some m—–f—— in today’s game, but Steph Curry,” James said. “Steph Curry’s the one that I wanna play with for sure, in today’s game. … I love everything about that guy. Lethal. When he get out his car, you better guard him right from the moment he pulls up to the arena. … You might wanna guard him when he get out of the bed. Swear to god. He’s serious.”
You can see the full discussion below, in which James also names Scottie Pippen, Kobe Bryant and Penny Hardaway as players he would have liked to join forces with (James’ comments about Curry start around the 1:04 mark, and the clip contains explicit language).
Anyone remotely following the NBA over the past several seasons knows of James’ affinity for Curry. Having battled each other in four consecutive NBA Finals from 2015-2018, LeBron is more than familiar with Curry’s exploits and how his shooting, off-ball movement, passing and competitiveness have affected winning.
James has drafted Curry to his All-Star team in each of the last two seasons, saying that he “loved every single second” of playing with Curry for the first time in 2021. Also a member of Team LeBron this past February, Curry set an NBA All-Star record with 16 3-pointers, leading to more praise from his team captain.
Curry responded to James’ comments from “The Shop” on Wednesday.
“Well he got his wish. He was the captain and he’s picked me for the last two All-Star Games. So I don’t know if that suffices, but I’m good right now,” Curry said on 95.7 The Game. “Whenever you get the interest or curiosity of what it would be like to play with arguably the MVP kinda caliber dude like he is, one of the greatest of all-time, cool. That’s amazing. We all can live in that fantasy world.”
James’ comments about wanting to play with Curry will undoubtedly lead to hours of use for the trade machine, with fans trying to find a way to get LeBron to the Warriors, but to say that outcome is unlikely would be a dramatic understatement. That doesn’t rule out an eventual partnership between Curry and James down the road, however, and if that came to fruition we’d be watching two of the greatest and most talented basketball players of all time take the stage together.