The rivalry manifested in 2015, when Curry’s Warriors beat James’s Cavaliers for Curry’s first title. The next year, James and Cleveland completed a historic 3-1 comeback over Golden State for the Cavs’ first championship. Although the Warriors won the next two titles over Cleveland with relative ease, the rivalry was already cemented.
While speaking with Sports Illustrated’s Robin Lundberg, Curry explained that he understands the magnitude of his matchups with James, especially considering those four NBA Finals series.
“It’s going to be really hard to find two teams going four years in a row in a Finals, just the way the NBA landscape is going,” Curry said. “That’ll go down in history as four amazing years.”
Although the rivalry peaked in the mid-2010s, the relationship between the two began in 2008, when James, as a fifth-year NBA player, went to see Curry play in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA tournament for Davidson.
From there, Curry said the two developed a layered relationship with each other.
“It’s complex, because you go from me playing in the tournament, him coming to watch to me coming in as a young rookie in the league and he giving me advice on how to get through some of the early struggles I was going to go through as a player, to the four finals appearances in a row,” Curry said.
For all the competitive moments with James, Curry maintains that they are friends, and it all goes back to that March Madness game against Wisconsin in 2008.
“He’s a great dude, great friend, great competitor,” Curry said. “It’s amazing to go back to look at where it all started, in Ford Field and a Sweet Sixteen game.”