Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard are two of the best guards in the NBA today. They are the main drivers of any and all success that the Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers experience, and so, inevitably, they often get compared.
That comparison has led to both players seemingly occasionally taking little shots at each other.
On Thursday, Curry sat down with Frank Isola and Brian Scalabrine on SiriusXM NBA Radio to discuss a number of topics.
One in particular stood out, however.
“I definitely took pride in shutting that up.”
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) September 30, 2021
“I mean, there was a moment at the beginning of last year, before the Portland game and the 62 [points], that I heard a lot of noise and I heard a lot of talk about who I wasn’t and we were going to get exposed and I was going to get exposed and all that type of stuff,” he said.
“I definitely took pride in shutting all that up. But it’s also the realization that when you’re in the fight every year, in that chase to the mountain top and you’re trying to win championships, I might get it more than other people just because I wasn’t supposed to be here.
“But I don’t think you’re ever going to get that love like that until it’s all said and done. So it doesn’t matter to me. It doesn’t matter what the narrative is. I definitely did appreciate that I played extremely well and reminded everyone what I was capable of. And I’m carrying that confidence into this year.”
You will recall, in the lead-up to that 62-point explosion, Lillard had some interesting things to say about Curry. Even head coach Steve Kerr took notice of the comments. So the fact that Curry can now admit he heard the noise is refreshingly honest.
Both Curry and Lillard have big seasons ahead of them.
Golden State is currently in the hunt to possibly acquire Ben Simmons from the Philadelphia 76ers – and Curry has been very honest about his feelings regarding the move. By any objective measure, it would immediately turn the Warriors into a title contender.
Actions have consequences. https://t.co/soa76PJdJ5
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 30, 2021
Lillard, meanwhile, has his own situation to deal with. A lot of folks believe he will be a member of the Boston Celtics by Christmas, but if that doesn’t come to fruition, this could prove to be a tough year for him. He has been very open about the Blazers’ ‘failed’ free agency efforts, and that doesn’t exactly express a willingness to stay in Portland long-term.
There is a reasonable case to be made that Curry and the Warriors are actually in a much better place right now than Lillard and the Blazers – which is probably why Curry chose now to make his stand.
This is a rivalry worth monitoring. If Curry’s fortunes continue to improve while Lillard’s get worse, it may not be the last time he brings this topic up.