“I’ve seen LeBron James pull teams to the NBA Finals that had absolutely nothing to do with being in the NBA Finals.”

Former NBA player Jay Williams still ranks LeBron James among the all-time greats, above Steph Curry, because of James’ ability to carry teams. Williams cited the number of times James has been to the Finals with teams that “had no business there.”

“I’ve seen LeBron James pull teams to the NBA Finals that had absolutely nothing to do with being in the NBA Finals,” Williams said in Keyshawn, JWill & Max.

After Curry won his fourth championship and continues to revolutionize the sport, the show examined Curry as the second best player in NBA history.

LeBron James still ranked above Steph Curry as an analyst

Following the return of Klay Thompson in January, the Golden State Warriors looked like they wanted to send a message. They played well and got across what they set out to do: The Splash Brothers returned to the championship.

But analyst Jay Williams isn’t ready to rank Steph as second all-time just yet. Regardless of his four championships, his team had a solid foundation for every accomplishment.

The Warriors drafted Curry, Thompson and Draymond Green, and none ever left. Their commitment to building a strong unit and dedication has paid off.

LeBron James, on the other hand, pulls teams into the finals regardless of their core. James turns teams into championship contenders, and that’s what sets him apart — at least for Williams.

When Thompson was injured, the Warriors had a two-year absence from the Finals. This reads like Curry needs help getting deep into the playoffs. Neither Golden State team made the playoffs (although Curry was injured and only played five games in 2019-20).

James has won a championship for every franchise he’s played for (although he returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers to take the title in 2016). Regardless of team chemistry or core, he builds a title team.

Playing at this level is something most cannot surpass. That, coupled with the slew of accolades and firsts in LeBron’s career, puts him well above many.

His name is often synonymous with Michael Jordan in GOAT talk. Because of this, while most won’t remove Jordan from that top spot, James remains in an elite position, much higher than Curry.

The number of championships makes a case for the best of all time, but James has been named Finals MVP in each of his championships and Steph only has one. That’s just one of many differences between the two players that objectively ranks James higher.

Curry changed the game from the ground up and proved himself worthy that top players should ever do. But he has yet to overtake James.

Williams sums it up with his simple quote: James has won times when he simply has nothing to win.

Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein

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