Ja Morant grew up a fan of Steph Curry, but that doesn't mean he will be coming into Sunday's pivotal clash against the two-time NBA MVP and his Warriors with any fear.
Steph and Morant will be meeting on the court for the first time, as injuries kept the two from facing off in each of the five matchups between the Memphis Grizzlies and Warriors since Morant was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
They've interacted before, however. After Andre Iguodala's comments about being traded to Memphis ruffled some feathers in the Grizzlies locker room, Steph stepped in to defend his close friend and former teammate. Morant fire back on social media at Steph, and the two eventually hashed things out privately over direct messages.
We've covered Morant's numerous Tweets about Steph over the years before, but when called out by fans last February, the former Rookie of the Year didn't back down from his praise of Curry.
Even this season, as Morant has established himself as a burgeoning star in the NBA, he still finds himself impressed watching Curry, like this post from the night of Steph's 62-point game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
He also checked in when Steph hung 40 on the Orlando Magic in February.
Morant now is a peer of Curry's, and told reporters Thursday that he isn't going to prepare any differently for Steph and the Warriors in Sunday's season finale.
"Same way I prepare for each and every game, watch film, study the opponent, try to learn their main plays to be able to help our team," Morant said after the Grizzlies' win over the Kings. "Study who I'm guarding, and study previous games against us to see how they was playing us in ball screens.
"It's simple as that. Get sleep, eat, come to the gym and be ready."
The stakes will be high at Chase Center, as the winner of Sunday's game has a chance to be the seventh seed in the NBA playoffs, while the loser must win two games in a row just to get the eighth seed in the Western Conference bracket.
There won't be fear on either side, and expect some fireworks as Morant's shocking athleticism for his size clashes with Curry's unmatched offensive creativity and shotmaking ability.