Stephen Curry expects an intensified Warriors-Lakers rivalry now that LeBron James is playing in Los Angeles.

After a five-year playoff drought, the Los Angeles Lakers are finally expected to become a major threat in the Western Conference now that the best basketball player on the planet, LeBron James, is playing on their team. Stephen Curry believes the arrival of James in Los Angeles will make the Western Conference more exciting as it will intensify the rivalry between the Golden State Warriors and the Lakers.

“And a whole new-look Laker team with some of the young kids. It should be fun, the Bay Area and L.A. and the whole thing,” Curry said Monday in a sit-down with The Associated Press while hosting his annual elite camp at Ultimate Fieldhouse. “When I first got into the league Oracle would be buzzing any time the Lakers came in. There probably will be a revolution of Laker fans that are going to try to creep in but I hope Bay Area and Dub Nation we keep control of that competition because we’re on top right now.”

After deciding to take his talent to the Western Conference, LeBron James will be having four matchups against the Warriors during the regular season. The Warriors were considered as James’ top rivals in his last four seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers. In the four consecutive years he faced the Warriors in the NBA Finals, James only won one NBA championship title.

Stephen Curry admitted that LeBron James made the Western Conference stronger, but he won’t let him do the same thing he did in the Eastern Conference. For James to make his ninth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals, Curry said LeBron first needs to beat the Warriors. Though he is considered as one of the greatest players of all-time, most people believe that James can’t fully dominate the Western Conference alone.

For the first time in eight years, James is set to play on a team mostly consisting of young talents and role players, unlike in his previous stints with the Miami Heat and the Cavaliers where he teamed up with other NBA superstars like Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love. The Warriors, who swept James and the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals 2018, just got stronger with the acquisition of All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins in free agency.

As of now, it’s hard to imagine LeBron James and the Lakers defeating the Warriors in a best-of-seven series. However, most NBA fans are surely excited to see if the Lakers’ version of “Death Lineup” will work against the reigning NBA champions. In the past months, there are speculations that the Lakers plan to create a “Death Lineup” featuring James, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, and Lonzo Ball.

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