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Curry: Best-in-the-world praise from Giannis won't 'soften me up'

Noah Graham / National Basketball Association / Getty

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry reciprocated in kind Sunday after learning he had been earlier deemed the best player in the world by Giannis Antetokounmpo.

"I don't know if it was gamesmanship to set the table ... I would say the same thing when you're facing the champions," Curry said, courtesy of The Athletic's Anthony Slater. "That's part of the nature of the league. We all want to win the championship, and we look at the team that's the last team standing and who was playing the best. I was thinking the same thing about him last year coming off their run.

"I appreciate the compliment. It's not going to soften me up (or make me) get complacent at all, but you do appreciate the respect from your peers to go out and say stuff like that. I've been in the situation where I'm complimenting guys around the league a lot as well."

During the Bucks' media pressers on Sunday, Antetokounmpo said he considered Curry the world's greatest player because he led the Warriors to the title in June.

"The best player in the world is the person that's the last one standing," Antetokounmpo said, before specifically crediting the Warriors' talisman.

The two NBA stars will have to wait before they can directly compete for bragging rights this year. Their first matchup is scheduled for Dec. 13 in Milwaukee before Golden State hosts their only other matchup of the regular season on March 11.

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