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Comparisons in sports will always be debated, whether it’s rivalries or individual players. Sports fans love to debate various topics from ‘Which rivalry is the best?’ to ‘Which player is the best?’. One of the most popular sports debates is the comparison between two future Hall of Fame NBA players.
Who is better, LeBron James or Steph Curry? The popular Jordan vs. LeBron debate is also near the top of the list, but many NBA fans from the past few years believe the Curry vs. LeBron debate is more relevant. Who can blame them, they are multiple time champions and MVP winners playing in the same era.
Let’s break down the arguing points for which player is the MVP between LeBron James and Steph Curry. Regardless of what anyone thinks, both players have cemented their legacies in basketball forever. They are two generational talents with enough accomplishments to put them into the Hall of Fame today.
LeBron James: The King
We don’t have enough time to list all the accomplishments King James has achieved both on and off the court. Off the court his accomplishments are impressive with countless donations, a business investor, a film producer and much more. This isn’t a personality contest, which seems to be critics’ main issue with LeBron.
You can love him or hate him, but the list of accolades speak for themselves. His longevity has allowed him to reach milestones other legends could only dream of, and his pure dominance has allowed him to conquer some of the most treasured achievements in basketball history.
Stephen Curry: The Chef
Chef Steph is always cooking something up, whether it’s lights out shooting or a new commercial. For as marketable as both Jordan and LeBron were and have been, Steph is actually right there with them. He has made various business investments, sponsorship deals and donations.
On the court he is also responsible for building the current dynasty in the NBA, the Golden State Warriors. Many forget Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson built a title contender on their own. While LeBron won multiple titles in multiple cities, Curry stayed put and built a franchise on his back, that is currently operating at an elite pace still.
LeBron James vs. Stephen Curry Career Comparison
This is a comparison article, so let’s compare the player’s directly. Below we will break down various key achievements and accolades for each player to make a case as the true MVP of the NBA.
Both players currently have four NBA Championships to their names, with Curry having the advantage of more years to play in his career. LeBron won his four championships with three different franchises: Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers.
His run with the Lakers, however, was played during 2020 where the entire playoff tournament was played under one roof and with no fans. Curry’s four championships all came with one team, the Golden State Warriors. His most recent came as early as 2022, so Curry will more than likely pass LeBron in terms of total titles won. The better question would be whether or not he can catch Jordan with six.
NBA Finals MVP Awards
This is where things get interesting, because although Curry has won four NBA Championships he has only won the NBA Finals MVP Award once. In fact, Kevin Durant won the award twice for Golden State and has played in less Championship series as a Warrior than Curry. Curry’s one NBA Finals MVP Award came in 2022.
James has won the NBA Finals MVP Award every year his team won the NBA Championship. This is a very crucial arguing point when comparing championship rings between players. Yes, Curry has won more in a shorter time, but he also had more support in doing so. There’s no argument that LeBron played with other superstars, but Durant carried two of the Warriors’ championships whereas LeBron carries all four of his.
In terms of the league MVP, LeBron has Curry’s number by a few but not much. James has won four MVP Awards with his last coming in 2013, winning all four within a five year span. Curry is a two-time NBA MVP Award winner, claiming the trophy in back-to-back years of 2015 & 2016.
It’s hard to see any player passing the amount of NBA All-Star Games LeBron James has played in. James has played in a ridiculous total of 19 NBA All-Star Games, which is 10 more than Curry has played in. LeBron has made the NBA All-Star Game in every season from 2005-2023.
Curry is no slouch in this area though, as his nine appearances are very impressive as well. Steph reached every All-Star Game from 2014-2019 along with 2021-2023. He was also named the NBA All-Star Game MVP in 2022.
All-Defensive NBA Teams
This is a minor accolade, but if the argument gets thin then the All-Defensive selections could come into play. LeBron takes this easily, reaching five All-Defensive NBA Teams along with reaching the All-Defensive Second Team in 2014. Curry has never made the All-Defensive NBA Team, including the second team.
In terms of all-time stats, LeBron also wins this category as his longevity has allowed him to break multiple records. In fact, he broke the all-time points scoring record by passing the great Kareem Abdul-Jabar. James ranks first in total points scored of all-time, he ranks fourth in assists with just over 10K and he ranks ninth in total steals with just over 2K.
Curry’s milestones are much more offensive. He ranks first in both total three-pointers made and free throw percentage. His three-pointers made total is 3,374 and counting, one of the NBA records that might never be touched. His 90.9% free throw percentage is the best ever and his 43.5% three-point percentage ranks top five as well.
Off the Court
Although this shouldn’t be a part of any serious debate, it’s fun to explore what these players have done off the court. Both players are very charitable, with countless donations across the board and James even opening his own school for kids. The community outreach from both players is top notch and doesn’t get highlighted enough by the media, unfortunately.
In terms of having fun and being marketable, both players also thrive in this regard. James has produced many movies already, including a SAG nominated film entitled ‘Hustle’ that streams on Netflix. Curry has found himself as a top spokesperson in sports, notching endorsement deals with Subway, Car Max and others.
The King vs. The Chef: Who’s The MVP After All?
Although Curry does have a fair argument after breaking everything down, LeBron is the clear MVP of the NBA and could be the greatest player of all-time. The passing of Kareem in point total is a huge arguing point for anyone still on the fence with LeBron.
One could make a case that Steph has impacted the sports as a whole better, because of his run with Davidson in the NCAA Tournament. James did not attend college, so Curry was able to cement a whole new corner of legacy in the vast basketball universe. With that said though, LeBron has earned two Olympic gold medals, which Curry has not. Check mate.
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