The NBA is often the best soap opera on the air, but in some cases, the drama is more imagined than real. That's what Steph Curry would have you believe about his mimicry of LeBron James this past weekend.
On the dance floor at former teammate Harrison Barnes' wedding, Curry was filmed impersonating his rival's famed Instagram workout video, while James' disgruntled teammate Kyrie Irving egged Curry on. (James posted the original video - in which he raps along to Tee Grizzly's "First Day Out" while showing off his newly shaved head - on the day of the Warriors' championship parade.)
While there have been plenty of instances of James and Curry taking potshots at each other over the course of the last three years (each of which has seen them square off in The Finals), Curry insists the impression was done entirely out of respect and admiration.
"I've been watching that video twice a day since it happened because its my favorite video in the entire world," Curry told The Athletic's Marcus Thompson. "He made a song popular by making a video. And that lives. So now every time I hear that song, that's all I think about. And I've been doing that dance because of him, at my house, at dinner. When something good happens, I pull that out, because I like it and it makes me laugh and it makes me happy. Not making fun of him."
Curry figures that Irving's role in the video contributed to the perception that it was a LeBron takedown, given Irving's recent trade demands and the now-fraught relationship between him and James.
"One thousand percent," Curry told Thompson, when asked whether Irving's presence exacerbated things. "That was just a casualty of the moment because me and him were hanging out all night. Then that song came on and I was having a good time. Obviously, that's a separate side story to their relationship, but neither one of us was trying to clown him."
Curry said he hasn't reached out to James to explain, and doesn't think doing so is necessary.