Stephen Curry's biggest rival offers ultimate praise for Warriors' superstar

Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

Not only has Stephen Curry become one of the most acclaimed basketball players of all time during his 15 years with the Golden State Warriors, but the two-time MVP is also credited with changing the game forever.

The season before Curry was drafted in 2009, NBA teams averaged 18.1 three-pointers per game. Largely thanks to Curry's audacious and remarkable shooting exploits, those average three-pointers have doubled to nearly 35 per game.

LeBron James believes Golden State Warriors' superstar Stephen Curry is one of the two most influential basketball players during his time

Speaking on his new podcast 'Mind the Game' with JJ Redick, LeBron James poured the ultimate praise on his long-time rival by placing Curry alongside Allen Iverson as the two most influential players in his time watching basketball.

"Steph and Allen Iverson are the two biggest influential guys in our game since I've been watching and covering. Allen Iverson and Steph, they were just so relatable. Kids felt like they could be them. They were guys who were not always counted on. They were small in stature. "

LeBron James

James also credited Curry for completely changing the notion of holding big leads entering the fourth-quarter. After previous generations where teams would empty their benches in a 17-point game with nine minutes remaining, the Curry-led ushering of the three-point era has meant big leads can now be erased quicker than ever.

James' praise for Curry comes shortly after the Warriors tried to pair both superstars together at the trade deadline. Golden State expressed interest in the four-time MVP, but were emphatically denied by both the Lakers and James' management.

Former Warrior General Manager Bob Myers shared his wish to see the legendary duo play together last week, stating that Curry and James are "perfect complements for each other" before conceding it's unlikely to ever happen.

Curry and James are widely acknowledged as the two faces of the NBA over the last 15 years, having competed in four-straight NBA Finals between 2015-2018.