Another NBA All-Star Game, another 3-Point Contest. Sunday in Atlanta will be another stroll in the park for Warriors superstar Steph Curry.
Nothing is new at this point for the seven-time All-Star. Well, except for one thing that everyone will have their eyes on. For the first time in his 12-year NBA career, Curry will go from rivals to teammates with LeBron James.
"Love to get that experience having played against him for the last 12 years and obviously in the Finals with all that back and forth and All-Star Games and what not," Curry said Sunday morning to reporters. "It'll be dope to compete, go out there and try and get this win. Representing Team LeBron, it's gonna be a pretty cool experience.
"We got a stacked team. Ready to go out there and just enjoy ourselves. I get a brand new experience that me and him have never had before -- should be pretty memorable, for sure."
Curry is the starting point guard for Team LeBron. He'll be joined by James, Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic. Giannis is the only one of the bunch Curry has played with in the past, but he believes it'll be pretty easy to find chemistry with his fellow stars. Curry also lauded the playmaking abilities of the four around him.
This will be James' 17th straight All-Star Game appearance. The only time he hasn't been named an All-Star was his rookie year, when he probably could have been. Like Curry, this isn't anything new to him, but with James now leading the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference, his and Curry's roads are clashing more than ever.
Last season, Curry played just five games due to fracturing his hand in the fourth game of the year. He watched from afar as the Warriors had the worst record in the NBA, making this All-Star Game special to him as a sign of his hard work. He also had to watch LeBron and Anthony Davis take home the title in the Orlando bubble after previously beating James' Cleveland Cavaliers teams three times in the Finals.
At 36 years old, James still looks like one of the best players in the NBA. He's averaging 25.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.8 assists while still playing 34.6 minutes per game. Sure, they're completely different players with different styles and different body types. But Curry can extend his prime with his otherworldly work ethic, just as LeBron has.
"He's obviously blessed physically but that only takes you so far," Curry said. "He puts the work in. Everybody who has been around him has talked about his work ethic and just the example that he represents on that front. Just because you're blessed physically and have a certain skill set doesn't mean you can just show up at the gym and sustain that for as many years as he has.
"He obviously has a blessed basketball mind and has proven that by over the course of the years being able to evolve his game and has time has gone on, proved a lot of people wrong that he can play at this level even at this point in his career. That's a great example to have of somebody who takes the work behind the scenes as serious as when you see him on the court."
Curry turns 33 years old in one week. His pregame highlights get more views than most player's in-game reels. He's innovative, always looking to take his game to new heights. Just as James has. And the results show.
Coming off an injury, plus a pandemic and playing without Klay Thompson for the second straight season, Curry is averaging 29.7 points per game while shooting 41.1 percent from 3-point range. He has singlehandedly won some games for Golden State this season, and his teammates have wasted a handful of dominant nights from No. 30.
Steph and the Warriors took home a comeback win over LeBron and the Lakers the first time they faced off this season. The Warriors were then crushed by 26 points by the Lakers to close out February. Now, Curry and James will share the court for the third time this season, but this time as teammates.
We've seen the Splash Brothers of Steph and Klay. We've seen the dominance of Curry and Durant. But Steph and LeBron? This is a different animal, one that will have basketball's biggest fans drooling over the possibilities, whether they're real or imagined.