Some NBA players shy away from giving compliments to their opponents.
LeBron James is not one of those players—not even when the players in question represent the Golden State Warriors, the team the four-time MVP’s Cleveland Cavaliers will face in the NBA Finals.
From USA Today‘s AJ Neuharth-Keusch:
“They shoot the ball extremely well,” James said. “Klay and Steph are probably the two greatest shooters that we’ve probably ever seen. Obviously in today’s game they are. Some of the shots, there’s nothing that you can do about it. Better offense beats great defense any day.”
“It’s hard to contain them,” the four-time MVP continued. “We all know that, the whole league knows that, our team knows that. But we have a game plan and we have to follow it and be true to it.”
To LeBron’s credit, he is probably right.
Okay, he’s definitely right.
Stephen Curry is clearly the best shooter in NBA history, bar none. His release is so quick, his range somehow beyond infinite. No player has ever had a license to pull up from 30-plus feet the way he does now.
And Klay Thompson isn’t far behind. He is extremely accurate from beyond the arc, and while he doesn’t showcase the same off-the-dribble flair, he routinely torches defense from almost anywhere behind the rainbow.
His 41-point performance in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals is the perfect example of his range. He drilled contested threes and out-of-area-code threes. He finds a way to get off his shot, using an understatedly quick release, even when defenses are suffocating him.
Deeming two modern-day players on the same team the “best ever” at something always makes people uncomfortable. Some are afraid to overstate the present, while others just can’t stop living in the past. And to question Thompson’s claim to that title now is mostly fair. But Curry’s status is sealed, and at worst, Thompson is on his way to joining his Splash Brother on the pedestal upon which LeBron James is already placing him.