Did LeBron James throw shade at Steph Curry?
LeBron James made a comment about the greatest shooter of all-time, but he wasn’t talking about the Warriors’ Stephen Curry.
LeBron James is probably the greatest talent to ever lace ’em up and step on the hardwood. Michael Jordan’s perfect record in the Finals has earned him the title of greatest ever, but James can do everything the Bulls’ legend could while being much more physically gifted. There’s one thing the King has never been able to master though: shooting.
He’s a terrific interior scorer, finishing with both power and finesse. His midrange game has improved though his free throw shooting leaves a lot to be desired. His three-point shooting is easily the weakest point in his game.
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What makes James especially unique is his basketball IQ. He’s extremely intelligent and has an amazing understanding of the game. He has a great knowledge of basketball history, context, and the implications of his personal actions.
Which is why James’ comments that teammate James Jones is the greatest shooter ever is quite perplexing.
LeBron calls Channing Frye the "greatest shooter ever" pic.twitter.com/wRw2n9tePy
— Tate Frazier (@tatefrazier) January 3, 2017
The tweet says “Channing Frye” but he was talking about Jones, the only other player to make it to six consecutive NBA Finals.
Jones has made 760 three-pointers in his fourteen year career. His percentage from beyond the arc is right at 40 percent. James reasoned that his teammates’ ability to come off the bench cold and knock down shots makes him the best to ever do it.
Again, LeBron James is incredibly intelligent and self aware. Every move is calculated and every word is deliberate. Since defeating Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors in the Finals, he’s thrown a shot at them at every chance he’s gotten. This is, most likely, another one.
Curry is universally accepted as the greatest shooter ever. His combination of efficiency and volume makes him a monster unlike anything the NBA has ever seen before. His ability to pull up off the dribble from 30+ feet out with a defender on him makes him the best. And it’s not even close.
Last year, Curry set the record for most threes in a season, knocking down a ridiculous 400 treys when no one else has even come close to hitting 300 in a year. Earlier this season, he set the record for most three-pointers in a single game (13). He’s continuing his assault on the all-time record books.
Curry hit more three-pointers during his two MVP seasons than Jones has in his entire career. While it’s possible that James was just making an observation and praising his veteran reserve teammate for staying ready, his choice of words his peculiar. Especially considering that they don’t impact just his fiercest opponent over the last few seasons.
LeBron James would have “just” two championships if it wasn’t for Ray Allen. While James was bricking jumpshots, Ray Allen was hitting corner threes to save James and his legacy. Allen is first in all-time three-pointers made. The least James could do is honor him by giving him that title, not James Jones.
While he was probably just looking to honor his teammate, it’s hard to look at that statement, understand James’ high-IQ, and ignore the fact that he’s probably also throwing shade at Curry. The two-time MVP has gone from everyone’s favorite up-and-comer to everyone’s favorite punching bag.
He has to fix that in June.