A Brief History
Commonly referred to as the best all around player in the NBA, Lebron James is proud of his hometown of Akron, Ohio and is widely known as a product of the Rubber City. What you may not know, is that his arch nemesis of the past two seasons, the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry is also from Akron, born 3 years after James in the same hospital! The two players have so many records and accolades we cannot even include them all here.
The Warriors beat an injury riddled Cleveland Cavaliers team for the 2014-2015 NBA championship (4 games to 2), and this year the same teams led by the same super-stars again are meeting in the NBA finals. James looks to lead a championship starved Cleveland to the promised land, and the 4 time NBA MVP is certainly making an enormous effort to make that happen.
Unfortunately for James and the Cavaliers, Curry and the Warriors have already built a daunting 2 games to none lead, with the second game being a 110-77 blowout. Curry poured in a record 402 three point shots this season, becoming the only NBA player to ever score 300 and now 400 long range shots in a season, making him in a class clearly of his own when it comes to 3 pointers. Curry also won the NBA MVP award last year and again this year, and led the league in scoring in 2016.
Lebron, known as a consummate team player that excels in every aspect of his game (except perhaps foul shooting where he is only fair, though he often takes more free throws than anyone in the league), has won 2 NBA championships and is the only non-Celtic to have played in 6 consecutive NBA finals (tying that record). James has been an NBA All Star for 12 consecutive years, and would be a certainty for the Hall of Fame if he never played another game. By the time he does retire, his records will rank among the top 2 or 3 players of all time.
Curry is also virtually certain of enshrinement in the Hall of Fame when he retires, but at 6 foot 3 inches cannot rebound like the 6 foot 8 inch James, with James having a career average of 7.2 rebounds per game compared to Curry’s 4.3. Despite Curry’s role as a guard, James has an assist per game average of 6.7 over his career compared to Curry’s 6.9, impressive for a big man. Even with Curry’s incredible 3 point shooting, Lebron leads Stephen in career scoring per game 27.2 to 22.4.
Which of these Akron produced super-stars would you rather have on your team? Tough choice, but we would go with Lebron, though of course the individual needs of a team could easily dictate otherwise. Give us your opinion on which of these great players is truly the finest basketball product of Akron.
Additional Material Added June 7, 2018: The Golden State Warriors behind the MVP Finals performance of Kevin Durant won the 2016-2017 NBA Championship once again. In an unprecedented display of dominance and consistency, the Cavaliers and Warriors have met again in the 2018 version of the NBA Championship Finals for the 4th year in a row. So far the Warriors have won the first 3 games, probably an insurmountable lead to their 3rd Championship in 4 years. Meanwhile, LeBron James has added to his incredible record of NBA achievement, scoring 51 points in Game 1 of this year’s Finals and recording a triple double in Game 3. Curry has been less consistent, scoring an NBA Finals all time record of 9 three point shots in Game 2, only to turn around and make only 1 of 10 three pointers in Game 3, scoring an uncharacteristically low 11 points while Kevin Durant poured in 43 points to go with his 13 rebounds and 7 assists. As good as Curry has been, the 2017 and 2018 Finals clearly show both LeBron James and Kevin Durant as more valuable players to their respective teams. We will see what happens on June 9, 2018 in the potential final 4th Game of the 2018 NBA Finals!
Question for students (and subscribers): Is Steph Curry Akron’s greatest basketball player? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Emerson, John. Stephen Curry: Rise of the Star. The inspiring and interesting life story from a struggling young boy to become the legend. Life of Stephen Curry – one of the best basketball shooters in history. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2016.
Geoffreys, Clayton. Stephen Curry: The Inspiring Story of One of Basketball’s Sharpest Shooters. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014.
Peyton, Steve. Stephen Curry: The Inspirational Story Of A Basketball Superstar – Stephen Curry – The Legend. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2016.
You can also watch a video version of this article on YouTube.