During a radio interview with Dan Patrick, Dubs PG Stephen Curry was asked to field an NFL team of NBA players. We did something similar with soccer last week, and Steph would have put LeBron James at the tight end position while he named himself quarterback. Then Patrick asked him if he was a better offensive player than LeBron James. Steph had never heard the question before, but he said he was.
Believe it or not, LeBron actually had fewer defensive win shares last season than Steph (4.0 vs. 3.7), but we’re not talking about defense. LeBron, by his sheer size alone, is a threat all over the offensive side of the court. Steph is the deadliest shooter in the league with seemingly limitless range and a lightening-quick release where he’s able to a shot in the faintest glimmer of an opening.
While Steph shoots at a ridiculous rate from beyond the arc — 44 percent for his career — and LeBron is a solid 10 percentage points lower for his career, James has worked hard to improve that aspect of his game. He shot 36, 40 and 38 percent from beyond the arc the last three seasons in Miami. Still, if we’re talking shooting, he’s certainly not Steph.
Fast forward to 4:10 in the video for the question.
Then again, Curry can’t make a defense bend the way LeBron does when he goes into the post. James demands a double-team, almost immediately. Then again, Curry thinks he’s got the vision and the ball-handling to get other players involved. So does LeBron, too. Except, Steph averaged almost 2.5 more assists more per game last season.
At the end, as Patrick notes, Curry is the better shooter, no one is even close in terms of accuracy when compared with attempts (he took nearly eight per game last season and knocked down better than 42 percent of them), but for overall offensive ability, James is superior.
Steph wasn’t being brash when he made the remark, just confident. Most NBA players believe they’re the best, and you need that type of confidence to play at the level Steph has over the last one and a half years. The ‘Bron/Steph offensive player argument is a lot closer than we thought when we first heard the comments, which is a testament to Steph and LeBron’s hard work. Steph thinks the story is funny:
That's funny. Anything is news these days lol
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) August 12, 2014
(H/T Pro Basketball Talk)
Is Curry a better offensive player than LeBron?
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