LeBron: “If they can play, they can play.”
Stephen Curry has found himself in unfamiliar territory, recently receiving criticism by a few NBA legends, who described his play as overrated and his accomplishments downplayed. Curry is the most recent victim of this growing trend, this time with the likes of Oscar Robertson and Walt Frazier. The two were marginalizing the historic accomplishments of the Golden State Warriors star and reigning MVP with their self-serving commentary. Lebron, who is no stranger to criticisms from NBA legends, has come to the defense of Curry. LeBron James said “it does kind of suck” when former stars downplay the talent of today’s players.
Back in 2013, Dennis Rodman said if Lebron had played in their era, he would be an average player. In defense of Curry, Lebron went on to say “I’m respectful to all the guys who paved the way, the greats, guys who were role players, guys who were part of a championship team or was not, I’ve always been respectful, so it does kind of suck when you’ve got guys who played before us and paved the way for us (and) … they like to talk down on a lot of our players, saying, ‘Well if they played in our era it wouldn’t be the same.” This was in response to Oscar and Walt suggesting Curry was only succeeding because modern defenses simply aren’t physical enough with him. They added that coaches today don’t understand the game, both claiming he wouldn’t have dominated in their eras.
LeBron James Promises to Break the Cycle
James stated he never wants to see himself turn into what some of the league’s legends have become today. He stated:
“So you hear about the criticism, but you don’t let it affect you because we understand that they paved the way for us. Then you’ve got (Tim) Duncan, Kobe, KG (Kevin Garnett). They paved the way for us. Now myself, D-Wade, ‘Melo, Chris Bosh, CP3 (Chris Paul), we’re kind of paving the way for Steph, Klay, all those generations, and now they’re doing it for the younger guys. It’s no biggie.”
“I just want to be able to leave a mark personally, and be able to leave this game, this beautiful game, when I’m done with it for the next group of guys. I’m never one to talk down on a group of guys. If they can play, they can play.”
Hopefully James will stick to his word and avoid coming down too hard on whoever is dominating the league 20 years from now.