LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason, which means that for the first time in his career, the King will be playing in the Western Conference - and taking on the Golden State Warriors more often as a result. It also means that in order to continue his NBA Finals streak - which is at eight - he'll have to get through the Warriors in the playoffs.
Steph Curry did an interesting interview with USA Today this week, and he was asked to weigh in on LeBron's decision to come to Los Angeles. Curry said he thinks the Lakers will come together with "LeBron leading the charge" - but added that they're still going to need to find a way to beat the Warriors to win a title.
It's an eye-opening quote, whether it was intended to be or not.
Q:How do you see the LeBron move? It obviously helps them, but he made that move West and you guys aren’t going away, or Houston or Utah, or OKC or Portland. What do you think they’ll be as a team?
A:I don’t know what they’re going to be as a team, because obviously it’s brand new and they don’t have their identity. But at the end of the day they’ll come together with LeBron leading the charge. At the end of the day, he’s in a great market, he’s in a great city, he’s around a great organization that has had a history of winning, he’s with (Lakers president of basketball operations) Magic (Johnson). It’s interesting for him to make a move.
There’s a lot that’s been made about the competition in the West and his eight straight Finals appearances and all that, but that just makes everybody raise the antenna up a little bit – including us. It’s going to be fun for fans, playing (more) in the regular season and who knows in the playoffs. So the West obviously got stronger with LeBron but you’ve still got to beat us.
Steph, of course, has gotten the best of LeBron in three of four NBA Finals series. The Warriors, at least right now, have a much better team - especially after the addition of DeMarcus Cousins last week.
That said, James could be constructing a dynasty himself in Los Angeles. If the Lakers can somehow land Kawhi Leonard - this year or next - they'd have a 1-2 punch as good as any in the league.