The Western Conference is full of historic rivalries, and another one might be on the horizon.
The Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers have never truly been considered rivals, mainly because the two franchises have never been contending at the same time. That could change soon, with Steph Curry helping shape a young, but talented roster, while LeBron James attempts to lead the defending champions back to basketball's biggest stage.
It helps that the two superstars might have a rivalry of their own.
When evaluating NBA superstars, The Ringer's Bill Simmons and NBA columnist Jackie MacMullan discussed James' rumored dislike of Curry on a recent episode of the Bill Simmons podcast.
"Steph is the most lovable superstar maybe ever. No one gets mad at Steph, no one dislikes Steph," MacMullan said.
"Well no, there’s one person that dislikes him," Simmons interjected.
While neither Curry nor James have ever publicly expressed any sort of disdain towards one another, Simmons explains how it's perceived.
"It’s a read between the lines," Simmons said. "There’s definitely an iciness with them."
There is obviously no shortage of accomplishments between two of the most prolific players in NBA history. Curry is a two-time NBA MVP, six-time All-Star and three-time NBA champion in his 11 professional season. James, a 16-time NBA All-Star is regarded as one of the best players all time. His decorated NBA career includes four NBA titles and four MVP awards.
Curry and James' rivalry dates to James' time with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Beginning with the 2014-15 season, the Cavaliers and the Warriors met in the Finals for four straight years. The Warriors won three of the four meetings, with Cleveland taking the 2015-16 championship.
Further context of Curry and James' reported dislike came in 2018, during a conversation Simmons had with Curry on the podcast.
Simmons: "I don't want you guys to like each other. This is my biggest problem with this decade. I like that I'm not positive you and LeBron like each other (Curry starts laughing). Watching from afar, it doesn't seem like you like each other. I'm sure there's a mutual respect."
Curry: "There's definitely a mutual respect. I would say though when you see guys working out with each other in the summers and you see guys playing pickup and all that -- when you step foot on the court during the season, it's a totally different environment.
"Guys can be buddies and friends and whatnot and have whatever type of relationship they want to have in the summer and off the court, but the rivalry and competition and egos and all that stuff that lives in an NBA game and when you're trying to hold that trophy ... it's really there and it's not going anywhere."
Now, it appears that rivalry will be taken to another level. The Lakers' were still reeling after Golden State's shocking comeback win Monday night, using it as motivation to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks in their next game.
The only question is, which one will be bigger? Curry and James, or LA and Golden State.