Who is better between 2012-13 LeBron James and 2015-2016 is a debate, which very much like GOAT debates, never ends.
LeBron James and Stephen Curry are undoubtedly two of past decades’ best players in the NBA. From 2011 to 2020 they have 7 NBA championships, 4x MVPs, 4x Finals MVPs, 16 All-Star and All-NBA appearances, and an awful lot of exciting clashes between each other.
As much as they enjoyed taking on each other in the biggest stages of all, the world enjoyed watching them fight it out and bringing the best out of one another. The duo is responsible to give us some of the best basketball in the entirety of the NBA, being the biggest rocks of the other’s path to the ultimate glory.
— SportzStew Ⓥ (@sportzstewcom) October 19, 2021
While doing that, there was never a question of whom among the two was the better player. They both knew the NBA community knew, and the whole world knew, that Curry, who is the greatest shooter of all time, comes nowhere close to James in the All-time rankings.
But that’s just because the Lakers’ superstar arguably trails only Michael Jordan for the GOAT honor. Although there can be a season or two in which the Warriors point guard might have been better than the former Cavaliers forward.
Stephen Curry of 2015-16 – The Only Unanimous MVP
After proving himself and his team as the best in the business in 2015, winning his first MVP and his team’s first championship in 40-years, the Chef decided to take it a notch up and become the undisputed best player in the league.
He did exactly that and became the league’s first Unanimous MVP averaging well over 30 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals a game. And did that while shooting over 50% from the field and an insane 45% from distance making an NBA record 402 3-pointers, leading Dubs to a league-record 73-9 season. INSANE.
— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) May 11, 2018
That gave rise to an argument about whether he is better than the LeBron James of 2012-2013, who is considered by some folks as the greatest peak of any basketball player. NBA Reddit asked that very question again, and we now look to put some perspective on it.
LeBron James of the 2012-13 Miami Heat
After getting the taste of a championship, leading the Miami Heat to only their second-ever Larry O’Brien in 2012, LeBron James meant business. Although he dropped a tad bit in scoring compared to his previous season, the man averaged 26.8 points, 8 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.7 steals, and 0.9 blocks a game while shooting well over 56% from the field and 40% from downtown.
LeBron James, 2013. pic.twitter.com/WWC42zhaZA
— Pérolas da NBA (@PerolasdaNBA) January 29, 2022
While James did win his 4th and final MVP award that year, stats-wise Curry’s season was better. But the King unlike Curry did lead his team to a repeat that season against the San Antonio Spurs.
Many people might say that 2016 Curry was better as he got the only Unanimous MVP award ever, but those very Warriors were handed a painful loss by LeBron James’ Cavaliers at the Finals, after getting to a 3-1 start. So, this debate like other GOAT debates really is a lifetime one, with both sides of the argument having equal weights.
It had to be the same hospital in Akron, Ohio that delivered two babies exactly 3-years apart from each other, who’d become two of the best players in the league in the future and have their best seasons exactly 3-years apart.
Little about that would Dell Curry have known who was playing for the Cavaliers at the time, another coincidence that bonds LeBron with Steph.