LeBron James and Steph Curry are two of the NBA’s biggest stars in the league today, if not all-time.
James and Curry are also currently squaring off in the second round of the NBA playoffs.
But the paths that the two traveled to get to this point were far, far different.
James was an absolute can’t miss, slam dunk prospect out of St. Vincent-St. Mary High School heading into the 2003 NBA Draft.
Curry, meanwhile, is the son of former NBA sharpshooter Dell Curry. But his path to the NBA was not as clear. He had limited scholarship options coming out of high school and committed to Davidson College in North Carolina.
It was there that he became a star, developing into an All-American and leading the Wildcats to their first Elite Eight appearance in nearly 40 years as a sophomore.
Even then, questions persisted about Curry’s NBA upside, especially as recurring ankle injuries lingered. The Golden State Warriors used the ninth pick in the 2007 NBA Draft on Curry, and the rest is history.
But while Curry had many doubters, James was not one of them.
"Yeah, Stephen Curry?"
"Think he'll be good in the league?"
"I think so."
A generation defining matchup. LeBron knew.
📺 LAL at GSW | Game 2 | 9pm/et on ESPN pic.twitter.com/GDIgP8hNKQ
— NBA History (@NBAHistory) May 4, 2023
In an interview from 2008, more than a year before Curry even entered the NBA Draft, James heaped praise on the then-Davidson star.
“You think he’ll be good in the league,” someone asks James.
“I think so,” he responds. “I think he knows how to play the game of basketball, of course, you know, being the son of a former NBA player, Dell Curry. He was taught well, how to play the game of basketball. And he has the talent. He’s good. I was impressed.”
Fast forward 15 years and the two have six NBA MVP awards and eight championship rings between them and a potential ninth on the way for the winner of their series.
You know what they say, game recognize game.