The Los Angeles Lakers can breathe a sigh of relief as the Boston Celtics fell to the Golden State Warriors in the 2022 NBA Finals.
The Lakers just endured their worst season ever when you consider the talent on the roster and the championship expectations heading into the 2021-22 season, so a Celtics title would have been an absolute disaster. Instead, the two iconic franchises remain tied with 17 championships apiece and both squads will look to break the deadlock again during the 2022-23 season.
For the Warriors, their return to prominence is nothing short of remarkable given their dynasty looked to be over. Stephen Curry finally quieted any doubters by earning his first Finals MVP and Golden State will look just as formidable next year. His series against the Celtics is a perfect explanation for why LeBron James named him as the player he would most like to hypothetically play with.
In fact, analysts like ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith have already picked Curry and the Warriors to win the 2023 NBA Championship. Smith also emphasized this would put Curry’s ring count over players like LeBron James, via ESPN’s “First Take”:
“I got the Warriors repeating. They are winning the NBA championship again next year. This time next year, Steph Curry will surpass LeBron James, and he will have five chips. He will tie Kobe Bryant. He will surpass Shaquille O’Neal. He’ll have more chips than Shaquille. He’ll have more chips than LeBron. He’ll have just as many as Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan. The Golden State Warriors are winning the championship again next year.”
The media loves to drum up drama between James and Curry as the two superstars have had their fair share of Finals battles. Curry holds a 3-1 edge over James in the Finals, but the latter has been dominant in each series and even led an improbable comeback down 3-1 in the 2016 Finals.
Lakers fans might not be too bothered by Curry possibly surpassing James in championships, but the latter’s fans would probably find that as a worst case scenario. While Curry is set up to win again next season, James and Los Angeles will need to find their way back to the top the hard way.
Tracy McGrady says Stephen Curry not on same level as Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson
Despite his Hall of Fame resume, Curry has not quite won over everyone when it comes to his place amongst the all-time greats. For example, Tracy McGrady believes Curry has yet to reach the same level as Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson.
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