The 2021 NBA All-Star Game marked the first time future Hall of Famers LeBron James and Stephen Curry have ever been teammates. Even with the change to the All-Star captains format, they always ended up on opposite sides and were even opposing captains in the first year of the change.
James and Curry have a ton of history together as they met in the NBA Finals four straight seasons from 2015-2018. Curry and the Warriors won three of those meetings, but James’ triumph in 2016 will go down as one of the greatest moments in NBA history.
Now as teammates, Curry relished the experience of being on the same side as James for once. “It was a great experience,” Curry said after the game. “We had fun in the locker room chopping it up. I know he was managing his minutes tonight, but it was good energy in the first quarter.
“It’s part of being around this league long enough, obviously the new format with the All-Star Game and mixing and matching conferences, even though he’s in the West now, it was bound to happen, and we had a great time […] It was a memorable night for sure.”
As Curry noted, James played just 13 minutes on the night. Meanwhile Curry made a run at the Kobe Bryant All-Star Game MVP Award with 26 points while knocking down 8-16 from three-point range. Even though they didn’t share the court for too long, Curry still enjoyed the moment and has a ton of respect for James and what he does.
“Like you said, something I hadn’t done before or we hadn’t done before, so you can kind of check that off the list,” Curry added. “It’s just a different vantage point for everybody when you come into an All-Star locker room and you see the guys that you compete with night in, night out, year after year, and got to acknowledge the respect that you have for everybody in there because we all do it differently but we all do it at a very high level, and obviously Bron has been doing it for a very long time. There’s so much respect there even as we compete throughout the years.”
One of the most memorable moments of the night didn’t even take place during the game, but rather before it. As James did his signature pre-game chalk toss, Curry got a close-up look and seemed almost mesmerized. James, on the other hand, had a ton of fun challenging Curry and Damian Lillard to continue shooting three-pointers from deeper and deeper on the court to which both happily obliged.
James ‘in awe’ of Curry, Antetokounmpo
While Curry looked mesmerized at James’ pre-game ritual, James felt the same about his teammate’s on-court performance. Jameshas had so many battles with Curry and eventual All-Star MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, that he thoroughly enjoyed just being a spectator on this night.
“Absolutely. That’s why I drafted them, man,” James said. “It’s guys that I obviously compete against on a nightly basis. But guys that I’m just in awe of.”
“Giannis and Steph, it’s my first time teaming up with Steph, and it was an honor to be on the floor with him. A guy that I’ve seen come and be the player that he is today. It was just great to be out there with Steph and Giannis and the rest of the guys, too.”
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