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  • Writer's pictureJoshua U.

You're Going To Miss Them When They're Gone

There have been many great players that have graced the NBA with their talents throughout the last two decades.

But the two that have defined the sport in this period of time have unquestionably been LeBron James and Stephen Curry.

IMAGE CREDIT: @purehoop on X.

And, MAN. They put on an absolute SHOW on Saturday night.

In a double-overtime instant classic in San Francisco, LeBron's Lakers escaped with a 145-144 victory over Steph's Warriors. The two future 'first-ballots' went blow-for-blow throughout the 4th quarter and the two overtime periods, producing big moment after big moment. Curry repetitively nailed clutch shots to either cut into multiple late Laker leads, tie the game, or take the lead outright. His last clutch make was a deep three from the top of the key to put the Warriors up one, but LeBron was not to be denied at the other end, driving the ball into the lane and forcing a Draymond Green foul to get to the line for two free throws, trailing by one. James clutched out & hit both, to capture the dub against the Dubs. It truly was a thrilling game from start to finish, that saw the two aging, multi-time champion legends put up some obscene statistics.

Father time isn't checking in with these two quite yet.

As great as the game was for hoop fans, it did leave me feeling bittersweet. On one hand, I fully recognize how abnormal it is for both of these two to continue to make NBA history every night & play at the top of their respective games. On the other hand, it reminded me of just how much these two will be missed when they're gone. And that's not just because of the incredible legacies they'll leave behind. It's the fact that when I look across the NBA landscape as it sits today, I don't see who the next two players are that are going to carry the torch after Curry and James. I look at the league and see that it's very buddy-buddy, and I also don't see any meaningful rivalries forming.

Are there some rivalries that are beginning to bubble up to the surface? Sure. I think there are equal levels disdain & respect between the Mavs' Luka Doncic and the Suns' Devin Booker.

There have been some dramatic confrontations between OKC's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Minnesota's Anthony Edwards within the past week-plus.

And the Spurs' Victor Wembanyama and OKC's Chet Holmgren -- two rookies with two very similar skill-sets -- seem to have a real fire & desire to go right at one another each and every time they face off.

Realistically speaking, the torch should be passed to the winners of the last 3 NBA MVP awards, Joel Embiid & Nikola Jokic. But sadly, as evidenced by Embiid's recent quote of "who cares?" when speaking about his "rivalry" with Jokic, I don't think they're the ones.

But what has made 'Steph vs LeBron' so great over the past 10-plus years has been the wide range of dynamics at play.

  • Both players playing & competing at the highest level for trophies & rings.

  • LeBron being Nike's superstar athlete, and Curry becoming Under Armour Basketball's shining star to present fierce brand competition to James off the court.

  • The vastly different styles of play each of the two bring to the table -- LeBron being a relentless, brute force of power & an unfair combination of strength, speed, skill & smarts, and Steph being a free-flowing, lightning-quick sharpshooter who can both kill you with deep 35-foot threes or with crafty, creative floaters and layups in the lane.

  • And, of course: the "dark-skin vs light-skin" angle too.

These two legends have each won four NBA titles. They've both made countless All-NBA and All-Star teams. They've each won multiple MVPs, and have been largely alternating between #1 and #2 in jersey sales since 2015.

One guy, LeBron, has recently become the NBA's all-time leading scorer, a testament of his remarkable consistency, durability, and longevity.

LeBron James celebrates on the court during the ceremony honoring his achievement of surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's mark as the all-time leading scorer in NBA history.

And then there's Steph, who recently became the NBA's all-time leader in made threes in a laughably short amount of games compared to counterparts atop the leaderboard, a testament to not just Curry's work-ethic, but also a testament to how much he has changed the game of basketball. There was once a time where shooting three-pointers in excess instead of playing inside-out from the paint was seen as a losing formula until Steph Curry arrived.

IMAGE: Stephen Curry nails career three-pointer 2,974 -- surpassing Ray Allen's mark to become the NBA's all-time leader in three-point field goals made.

Since their first Finals matchup in 2015, when LeBron was a Cleveland Cavalier, at least one of James and Curry have appeared in 7 of the last 9 NBA Finals, including 4 straight meetings from 2015-2018.

In those 4 consecutive Finals meetings, these two's rivalry impacted the sport in a way that the NBA hadn't seen since the famed Magic Johnson/Larry Bird dynamic that defined the '80s and literally saved the sport. Interest league-wide was dying in the late-70s before Magic and Bird arrived, with a fanbase that couldn't connect with the players due to a variety of reasons, such as there being a fall-off of successful large-market teams, and an overall negative view of the league's culture, with reports of rampant cocaine use dominating the headlines.

Then along came Magic and Larry, a black man & a white man, one guy on the preeminent west coast NBA franchise, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the other guy on the most relevant and successful east coast club, the Boston Celtics.

PICTURED: Larry Bird (left) and Magic Johnson (right), both of whom are widely considered the pillars of the NBA as we know it today.

The two historic figures met three times in the NBA Finals in the '80s -- with Larry's Celtics winning in '84, Magic's Lakers exacting revenge in '85, and Magic and Larry's tiebreaker series in '87 that saw the Lakers emerge victorious. Overall, Larry Bird won three titles in the decade, while Magic took home 5 championships of his own. The combination of the obvious socio-cultural impact of this rivalry, combined with the two stars' highlight-laden, high-stake battles for the highest honor in the NBA -- a championship -- boosted NBA fan interest beyond measure.

I'm not at all about to claim that the Curry/James rivalry even sniffs this one in terms of impact. I simply bring up Magic and Larry as a source of comparison.

LeBron James (left) and Stephen Curry (right) in the 2015 NBA Finals, the first of 5 postseason matchups between the two.

The 2015 NBA Finals had such brilliant lead-up to it. Stephen Curry had captured his first of two MVP awards for his work in the regular season -- an incredible success story for him, after battling ankle injuries for years since his arrival to the NBA in 2009. His Golden State Warriors had just won 67 games, a feat that only 9 previous teams in the NBA's history had ever pulled off. This was Steve Kerr's first season as Warriors' head coach, and the 5-time champion as a player hit the ground running with Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.

On the other side, LeBron James had been at this "winning" thing for a while.

James, born and raised in Akron, Ohio, was drafted in 2003 by his close-to-home Cavaliers. James went on to spend the first 7 years of his career with Cleveland, tantalizing NBA fans across the globe with his God-given athleticism and all-around hoop talents, winning 2 MVP awards in the process.

However, James' Cavs, despite setting franchise records in wins multiple times, reaching the Eastern Conference Finals twice, and even going all the way to the NBA Finals in 2007, could never get over the title-winning hump, largely due to James' lackluster supporting cast against the likes of the Duncan/Parker/Ginobili Spurs & the late-2000s' Celtics, featuring the 'Big 3' of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen, who dispatched the Cavs twice in that time span (2008 and 2010). Due to this, when James reached unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2010, he infamously announced his move from Cleveland to the Miami Heat, joining perennial All-Stars Dwyane Wade & Chris Bosh in doing so.

Unsurprisingly, James enjoyed plenty of success in Miami with his much-improved supporting cast. He captured two additional MVPs in 2012 and 2013 -- '12 & '13 also ending in consecutive championships for 'King James'. This great run in South Beach was book-ended, however, by two Finals losses; James worst-ever playoff series in 2011 vs the Mavs, and a crippling 5-game dismantling at the hands of the 2014 San Antonio Spurs, who pretty much mastered basketball that series.

James once again reached unrestricted free agency in 2014, and in a culture-shifting move, James announced in a Sports Illustrated piece that he would be returning to the Cavs, and in doing so, joining young, dynamo scorer Kyrie Irving to form a frighteningly talented tandem.

The Cavs also traded for star big Kevin Love before the 2014-15 season, and after a slow start for the team, they started to click towards the end of the regular season, and boatraced through the Eastern Conference to meet up with Steph and the Warriors in the Finals.

This came with some unfortunate injury luck for the Cavs, though. Kevin Love was lost for the remainder of the postseason with a dislocation in his shoulder with torn ligaments accompanying, and Kyrie had dealt with knee problems for the entirety of the Cavs' playoff run.

Game 1 of the Finals saw the Warriors win, but more notably saw Kyrie go down for the rest of the series with a fractured kneecap. LeBron responded & led an impressive charge in Games 2 & 3 of that series to give Cleveland an unfathomable 2-1 lead over the upstart Dubs.

LeBron celebrates a dramatic Cavs' victory in Game 2 of the 2015 NBA Finals.

Steph and the Warriors landed a glancing counterpunch in Game 4 in Cleveland, then took care of business in Game 5 behind Steph's 37 points, then returned to Cleveland to finish the job in Game 6.

Steph Curry & the Warriors celebrate their NBA Finals victory in 2015.

I'll never forget the discourse around this series in its aftermath. I'd say the majority of NBA fans still hailed LeBron as the best player in the world even after the Finals loss. But, when you win not just the MVP award, but ALSO beat LeBron in the Finals like Steph did? You're unquestionably a threat to King James' throne, if not knocking him off of it already.

LeBron's fans, as well as Cavs fans, still maintain the belief to this day that with a healthy Kyrie and Kevin Love, Cleveland wins that series. But, you know the phrase... "If if was a fifth..."

If James and Curry didn't produce enough drama at the top of the league in 2015...

We certainly got our fill in 2016 -- the BIGGEST year in the history of this rivalry.

The 2015-16 season saw these two set history that will never be matched for as long as the NBA lives. Steph's 67-win, title-winning Warriors somehow got significantly better, as did he.

Steph Curry celebrates with Warriors fans in the crowd after hitting his 400th three of the 2015-16 season vs the Memphis Grizzlies on the final day of the regular season -- this game also saw the Warriors win their NBA record-setting 73rd game.

The Warriors set an NBA record, surpassing the famed 1995-96 Chicago Bulls by winning 73 games behind Curry's greatness. Curry averaged a career-high 30.1 PPG, and the record-setter in single-season threes made in each of the prior three seasons amped it up to another level in 15-16.

Steph set fire to the NBA history books all season long. He hit an unfathomable 402 threes while maintaining the highest degree of difficulty on his shots throughout the entire league. He put together the greatest scoring season of all-time in terms of volume & efficiency, as Steph shot over 50% from the floor, 45% from three-point range, and 90% from the free throw line -- joining the exclusive 50/40/90 scoring club.

There are many highlights from Curry's first ever unanimous MVP season in the history of the NBA that are burnt into my memory, but the one that stands tallest above the rest has to be his deep-ranged game-winner at Oklahoma City vs the Thunder -- a game & moment that ALSO saw Curry tie an NBA record with his 12th three-pointer made.

Curry's 2015-16 vaulted him up from NBA superstar to cultural icon. For the first time since LeBron's first title in Miami, James was NOT the face of the NBA in the majority of people's eyes -- it was Steph.

LeBron's Cavs in the meantime? By record, they started 2015-16 out of the gate pretty well considering that Kyrie was still recovering from offseason knee surgery. Cleveland sported a 30-10 record heading into a home matchup with Steph's Warriors on MLK Day. That game... did not go well for the Cavs, as Steph dropped 35 points on the way to a 132-98 road rout for Golden State.

The loss rocked the Cavs' world hard enough that it forced a coaching change -- a very unprecedented coaching change, as David Blatt became the first head coach to get fired mid-season with a winning percentage above 70 percent. Tyronn Lue took Blatt's place, a move that would very much matter for the next time the Cavs would face Golden State.

Along their path to the 2016 Finals, LeBron and the Cavs absolutely rolled through the meager Eastern Conference, suffering only two losses in 14 games played.

Steph and the Dubs, after hardly facing any adversity during their stellar regular season, faced plenty of it in the postseason. Curry sprained his MCL after slipping on a wet spot on the court at Houston in the first round, but came back midway through the next series vs Portland. With Golden State up 2-1 in the West Semis, the Blazers were giving the Warriors all they could handle in Game 4, despite Curry's return. Steph caught fire late in the 4th, though, and got the game to overtime, where he would proceed to put on yet another performance for the ages.

Stephen Curry shouts "I'm back!" towards the Portland crowd in the midst of his 17-point OT period in Game 4 of the 2016 Western Conference Semifinals.

Golden State won Game 4, went back home to take care of business in Game 5, and moved on to the West Finals up against a familiar foe.

The Oklahoma City Thunder threw haymaker after haymaker at Golden State, winning Game 1 on the road in Oakland, and Games 3 & 4 in blowout fashion. The 73-win Warriors were now stunningly on the brink of elimination -- one more loss away from not even making it to the Finals.

But, not so fast. Curry was brilliant in the final 3 games of the series, and got a huge boost from 'Splash Brother' Klay Thompson and his then-playoff record 11 three-pointers in Game 6 to force a Game 7, which Golden State would win behind Steph's 36 to escape out from OKC's grasp and make it back to their second consecutive Finals.


LeBron vs Steph, Round II, with even higher stakes than the previous year. LeBron was still seeking to bring that elusive NBA title to the city of Cleveland, and Steph was looking to vault himself & his squad into basketball immortality with a historic coronation -- the Warriors would've undoubtedly been hailed as the greatest team in NBA history with a championship.

The 2016 Finals wound up being two series in one, where both sides took turns dominating the opponent. The Warriors won Games 1 & 2 convincingly, despite low scoring outputs from Curry in both games. Bron and the Cavs won a game they had to win in Game 3, but Steph's 37-point Game 4 gave the Warriors a historically insurmountable 3-1 Finals lead.

At this point, I remember thinking to myself -- "Damn, this guy Steph is going to be the singular reason why LeBron will never be seriously considered the GOAT."

Seriously. I know full well that there are some -- many! -- that will never even think about placing LeBron over Michael Jordan as the greatest player to ever touch a basketball, no matter what. But even if there were some open-minded people on the fence about the two -- LeBron dropping to 2-5 in the NBA Finals, with two consecutive Finals losses to the unanimous, two-time reigning MVP who many were considering the best player in the NBA at the time? There wouldn't be any coming back from that. Unfortunately for LeBron, according to NBA history, there wouldn't be any coming back from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals either. Teams were 0-32 in that scenario all-time.

Fortunately for LeBron and the Cavs, Golden State's All-NBA defender & playmaker Draymond Green was suspended for Game 5, leaving a window open for the Cavaliers. LeBron and Kyrie Irving crashed right through that window.

Oh... oh my.

The Cavs carried that momentum into Game 6 back in Cleveland and won... big. I'll never forget how loud and thundering the Cleveland fans in that arena sounded just through the TV! And LeBron was all-world in that one. It was another 41-point masterclass from James, in which he completely controlled the game throughout. And of course, the lasting memory from this game will always be James' emphatic block on Curry under the basket, and then the proceeding taunt.

Surely there wouldn't be a more impactful block than this one in Game 7...

Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals was, still is, and will forever be the highest-stakes game in NBA history. It would be the major legacy-defining moment for whoever won, and a soul-crushing, reputation-altering defeat for the loser. The match, unsurprisingly, was close right down to the final minute. Steph hit a three-pointer to knot the game at 83-all. The game eventually found its way to an 89-all deadlock, and the Warriors had just thwarted a Kyrie Irving layup and were off and running in transition. Andre Iguodala received a bounce pass from Curry and appeared to have a go-ahead layup.

Until he didn't.

That clutch, athletic marvel of a block and Kyrie Irving's go-ahead three-pointer over Steph secured the 2016 NBA Title for LeBron and the Cavs, and solidified LeBron's legacy. He needed to win, and he did, and won a unanimous Finals MVP for his efforts as well. LeBron completely outplayed Curry in the Finals, as well as... everyone else, as James became the first player in the history of the Finals to lead ALL players in points, assists, rebounds, steals, and blocks.


Now, following this, scoring savant and superstar Kevin Durant decided to leave OKC in free agency and join forces with Steph & Golden State. It was a much debated & heavily hated move from KD for obvious reasons that I won't even waste time getting into, but I didn't like it for one singular & simple reason.

It diluted the Steph/LeBron rivalry.

The Warriors went on to win the 2017 & 2018 NBA Finals in convincing fashion, with both victories against LeBron's Cavs, and while Steph & Bron still had some moments against one another in those seasons, like casually battling in the greatest Christmas Day NBA game of all time midway through the 2016-17 season -- a 109-108 victory for Bron's Cavs...

In what many consider the greatest NBA Christmas game of all-time, LeBron's Cavs beat Steph's Warriors, 109-108, in Kevin Durant's first meeting vs LeBron as a member of the Dubs.

Overall, it just didn't hit the same -- for me, at least. A bit of a 'Captain Obvious' take here, but those two series would've been so much more hotly-contested -- just like '15 & '16 -- if it was Curry as the lone Golden State superstar, trying to knock LeBron back off the throne again.

When the dust settled, though, both James and Curry were 3-time NBA champions, and LeBron decided to make a league-shifting move out west that would significantly change the dynamic of these two's rivalry.

James signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, joining Steph in the Western Conference in doing so. LeBron's first year in LA was marred by growing pains & derailed by injuries, as a naggy groin eventually knocked James out for good that season.

Meanwhile, Steph's Warriors made it back to yet another Finals, and for the first time, weren't meeting LeBron there. They faced off against the Toronto Raptors instead, and despite Curry's 30+ PPG in that series, the Warriors crumbled due two brutal injuries suffered by Kevin Durant (torn Achilles) and Klay Thompson (torn ACL) and lost in six.

LeBron's second year in LA saw him play next to two-way superstar Anthony Davis after Davis' trade from New Orleans, and, with Steph's injury-riddled Warriors completely down & out of the title contention picture for a season, James took full advantage. James and Davis' games clicked instantly, and the Lakers burst out of the gate in 2019-20, maintaining the best record in the West for the entirety of the season.

Even a global pandemic couldn't slow James' Lakers down. The Lakers dominated in the "Bubble" in Orlando, and went 16-5 in the playoffs to capture the title -- LeBron's 4th, one-upping Curry.

James became the first player in NBA history to win the Finals MVP award with 3 separate franchises with the Lakers' championship in 2020.

Since James had joined the Lakers, the mutual respect between James and Curry started to become more & more apparent between the two.

In 2020-21, Steph Curry was all-world, playing at a level that might have been even higher than his unanimous MVP season in 2015-2016. Curry averaged a career-high 32 points-per-game & won the scoring title in doing so, keeping an otherwise meager Golden State squad afloat, and carrying a lackluster Warriors squad that was still without Klay Thompson to the 8th seed & the newly-implemented Play-In Tournament. In said Play-In Tournament, guess who Steph would play?


Curry wasn't getting a lot of serious MVP consideration because his Warriors weren't high enough in the standings.

This didn't deter LeBron James from letting everyone know who the MVP was in his eyes.

"We're playing versus, in my opinion, the MVP of our league this year in Steph" were LeBron's words to the media ahead of the Lakers' Play-In battle vs the Warriors.

As per usual, the matchup provided more great drama between the two superstars.

Curry was again otherworldly with an efficient 37-point night with 6 threes made, but James had the last laugh. LeBron, moments after getting poked in the eye by Draymond Green, caught the ball well above the arc on the right wing at the end of a broken possession and launched a three-pointer over Steph just as the shot clock was getting ready to expire. Bron hit the shot to make it a 103-100 game, and that score held to send the Lakers into the playoffs.

Steph's Warriors went on to lose to the Grizzlies in the next Play-In game to miss the playoffs entirely, while LeBron's Lakers bowed out in the first round in the Suns in six.

On to the next season.

Remember the 2019-20 season I made mention of before, with Curry's Warriors fading into irrelevancy while James' Lakers won the title?

Steph played a whole 'UNO' reverse card on LeBron in 2021-22.

Steph Curry's 2022 might be his magnum opus -- he'd probably say the same if you asked him directly. 2021-22 was the NBA's 75th anniversary, and the league celebrated its legends at All-Star Weekend in Cleveland -- LeBron (and Steph's!) old stomping grounds -- with a ceremony honoring the 75 greatest NBA players of all-time. No shock to anyone, James and Curry made the team. On what wound up to be a storybook evening for the two legends, the two were actually teammates on this night, and both provided MORE unforgettable moments. Curry captured his first ever All-Star MVP with an incredible 50-point performance with SIXTEEN threes made, and LeBron hit the clutch game-winner back home in Ohio. Storybook!

When basketball lovers came back down from the All-Star high and the regular season resumed, LeBron would go on to miss the playoffs, as he couldn't carry a geriatric Lakers squad to even a top-10 seed and a Play-In berth. In typical Bron fashion, though, he said "I'm leavin' here with something", and on March 5th, 2022, he scored his personal Lakers-high 56 points in primetime against Steph's heavily favored Warriors -- 37 years of age & all.

It's like the both of them are just addicted to providing us with major moments.

Steph and Golden State went into the postseason as the third seed in the West, and felt great about their ability to return to title-winning prominence with the return of Curry's splash bro Klay Thompson in January. After getting by two-time MVP Nikola Jokic in 5, exacting revenge for GSW's Play-In loss on Ja Morant and the Grizzlies in six, and taking down Luka Doncic and Dallas in five, the Warriors would face off against the Boston Celtics in the 2022 Finals.

Boston jumped out to a 2-1 lead and had a home Game 4 versus a hobbled Steph. In a similar scenario in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals, LeBron famously had his greatest game ever on the Boston floor, considering the stakes. James destroyed the Celtics with 45 points and 15 rebounds while facing elimination to force a Game 7. Steph decided to provide the Celtics with a dose of 'deja vu' and peppered the Celtics with 7 three-pointers, on the way to a 43-point, 10-rebound classic to keep the Warriors alive and demoralized the Celtics' spirit enough for Golden State to win the final two games of the Finals.

Stephen Curry celebrates a clutch bucket at the tail-end of his Warriors' huge Game 4 win @ Boston in the 2022 NBA Finals.

LeBron James' locked-in stare during his historic performance in Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals, also at Boston.

Curry orchestrated one of the greatest single-game Finals performances in NBA history, and LeBron certainly took notice of Steph's artistry while watching at home.

Curry's 31.2 points, 6 boards, 5 assists per game and scintillating shooting throughout the series earned him his first ever Finals MVP trophy. It was an honor that definitely should have been awarded to Curry in his first Finals in 2015 when his teammate Andre Iguodala won it instead. But, nonetheless, the award made Steph's 4th championship (matching LeBron!) that much sweeter.

Stephen Curry and the Warriors celebrate their 4th NBA Championship in 8 seasons -- and Curry hoists up his first ever NBA Finals MVP trophy.

The next season? We saw Steph and LeBron hook up in a playoff series for the first time since LeBron joined the Lakers in 2018-19. Both players were extremely complimentary of one another in the media and each player remarked on all of what the other guy had done for the NBA. The Lakers won in 6 games over the drama-filled Warriors, with Games 1 & 4 in particular going right down to the wire w -- both ending in narrow Lakers victories. but Los Angeles couldn't get it done at all in the next round, getting swept out of the West Finals by the eventual champion Nuggets.

Bringing us to the present-day. After Saturday night's display, what's next for these two greats? Both guys' teams will meet three more times this season, and, given where both teams stand right now? It's not at all beyond the realm of possibility that they could meet in yet another Play-In game.

The Lakers are currently the 9th-seeded team in the West, a disappointing standing for a team that was just one of the final four remaining in the '23 Playoffs. The Warriors are an even more disappointing 12th-seed in the West as we speak, completely out of Play-In positioning. But, if there's one thing you can take from this piece, isn't it to never count these two out? Both guys have the heart of a champion, and responding against doubts is engraved into their DNA at this point.

After the season, the two, barring injury, are fully expected to commit to play together on Team USA Basketball for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, France. If it all comes together, it would mark the first time in James & Curry's shared history that they would play as teammates in a non-All-Star format, which would be a major treat for not just basketball fans, but sports fans as a whole, around the globe.

Back in 2022, when asked who the NBA player is that he'd like to play with the most, James responded on his HBO show "The Shop" with this:

"In today's game, sh-- there's some m-----f------ in today's game, but Steph Curry," James said. "Steph Curry's the one that I wanna play with for sure, in today's game. ... I love everything about that guy. Lethal. When he get out his car, you better guard him right from the moment he pulls up to the arena. ... You might wanna guard him when he get out of the bed. Swear to god. He's serious."

Hopefully for James, Curry, and all our sake, it all comes together. It would be quite the sight to see. LeBron and Steph, the yin to each other's yang in terms of styles of play, teaming up to re-legitimize USA Basketball's dominance after the FIBA group's bitter disappointment in the World Cup this past summer.

We don't have the ending to their story yet, but that just allows us to enjoy both their games in their latter stages, because we truly don't know when the end will come for either guy.

One thing we know for sure?

They've certainly come a long way since 2009, where a skinny, baby-faced point guard at the innocuous Davidson College wowed an NBA superstar in the crowd.


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