Stephen Curry leaves LeBron James out of his all-time starting 5

Brad Sullivan
3 Min Read

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry recently invited some controversy with the five selections for his all-time starting five, which didn’t include LeBron James.

Lists such as these tend to spark plenty of conversation because of the different factors that might influence the person making the decision. Issues such as a bias against certain players as well as those for current or past teammates could be connected to the selector’s reasoning.

In Curry’s case, he has a legitimate claim to being on the list, based on his incredible shooting range and his role in helping the Warriors capture four NBA titles.

An closer look into why Stephen Curry might’ve omitted LeBron James

Stephen Curry and LeBron James

However, omitting James from his list seems odd, considering that Curry has been a contemporary of the Los Angeles Lakers superstar over the course of his entire NBA career.

With regard to the other players Curry listed, he played against Dirk Nowitzki until the latter’s 2019 retirement. In the case of O’Neal, he only played against O’Neal during the latter’s final two seasons.

Magic Johnson is certainly in any conversation about the game’s greatest players, and like Curry, helped lead his team to multiple NBA titles. Yet, one of Johnson’s own contemporaries, Larry Bird, could arguably match up against Johnson’s skills.

Finally, James has often been compared to Michael Jordan, with numerous debates over the past decade focusing on which player is the greatest basketball player ever. In addition, James is on the verge of becoming the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.

Each of the players that Curry listed is in an elite category of players, but excludes many others that made a huge impact before he was born in 1988. That stellar list includes players such as Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson and Jerry West.

Curry’s four titles have come as a member of the Warriors, while James has managed the rare feat of leading three different franchises to a total of four NBA championships. James’ first two titles came with the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013, followed by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 and the Lakers in 2020.

Whether James is upset about being left off Curry’s list is uncertain, though the superstar has often used such snubs as a source of motivation. In the end, Curry’s opinion is one in a sea of voices with different perspectives.

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Brad is a freelance writer for, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.