Steph Curry and LeBron James were having the time of their lives during the NBA All-Star Game earlier this month as the two veterans were primarily responsible for bringing the energy to what would otherwise be a lackluster event without a full arena to cheer everyone on. It was the first time the two had ever been on the same team, which is a bit of a surprise. Obviously they've never put on the same NBA uniform, but between the regular All-Star selections between the pair and the existence of international basketball, one might have figured it happened before. It has not, and it was rather enjoyable to watch when it finally did. They didn't play off each other for a ton baskets or anything, but it was clear they enjoyed the experience.
LeBron and Curry are two of the league's greatest superstars, each capable of putting on a show any given night and represent the faces of the league to the larger masses who don't watch every single game. They are also on opposite sides of the competitive spectrum this season. LeBron's Lakers were far and away the best team in the West before Anthony Davis got hurt. Curry's Warriors, meanwhile, have struggled to consistently win with a young roster surrounding their superstar (along with Draymond Green, future talking head) and sit in the ninth spot in the West as of today.
On a related note, it became news recently when reports emerged that Curry had neglected to sign another contract extension with Golden State before the year began. The only unanimous MVP in league history is under contract for $43 million this year and $45 million next year, but will be a free agent in 2022 barring an extension. There is one rather obvious reason for this: Curry can get paid way more if he waits until the summer of 2021 to sign a deal. That is the biggest and probably the only motivation for Curry to wait. The Warriors will give him quite literally anything he wants to stick around as the hero of the franchise and it seems wildly unlikely that Curry would want to leave the only NBA home he's ever known unless they really try to screw him. That won't happen.
But the NBA is all about what if! That's where the fun discussion is. Curry will almost definitely retire a Warrior, but what if? What if the Warriors can't get it together this season and miss the playoffs? What if it happens again next season? What if Curry gets so frustrated with losing after forming the core of a modern basketball dynasty he wants to leave? What if ... he teams up with LeBron James?
Such is the theory put forth by Kendrick Perkins on The Jump today.
Rachel Nichols reacted like we all will and should to such a thought. It's ridiculous. Curry and LeBron certainly seem to like each other after years of epic duels on the biggest stage. That is not a sign that points to a Curry/James union in whatever city this hypothetical takes place in. Curry won't leave the Bay Area and, even if he does, won't sign for peanuts to play with LeBron. That's what dudes who can't play more than 10 minutes a game do, not former MVPs.
However! This would bring the NBA world to its knees. How would Curry stans and LeBron stans reconcile after years of vitriol and spite? How would the Bill Simmons types, those who hate the concept of super teams with every bone in their body, react to the two most dominant players of last decade joining forces? Would the ESPN camera crack as Stephen A. Smith breaks out the hottest of all hot takes that he was undoubtedly saving for such a reunion? Would Skip Bayless even survive long enough to tweet about LeBron's fraudulent status as GOAT upon receiving the news? I would bet not in regards to the latter. The rush of sheer joy would be too much for him.
Perkins is quickly becoming my favorite hot take artist on television because he just does not care about the feasibility of what he's saying. Of course Curry wouldn't sign with the Lakers for nothing just to play for LeBron while he still has good years ahead of him, but it's good TV and no one else has put the possibility forward, so who cares? Fire away, Big Perk. Monday afternoon basketball commentary is not for X's and O's, it's about the content. This, although the most ridiculous thing these ears have heard today, qualifies as good content.