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Steph Curry won’t stop hogging Dame Lillard’s limelight

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Damian Lillard cannot catch a break when Steph Curry is in the building hogging all the limelight. Lillard has to have developed either a chip on his shoulder or inferiority complex, after adding another notch in his Hall of Fame belt by being crowned 3-point contest champ for a second consecutive year —only to watch the league formulate an entire event around Curry.

What was typically a premier Saturday night main event was overshadowed by the best long range shooter of the floor spacing era. Curry has been haunting Lillard during All-Star weekends, throughout the regular season, and in the postseason for the past decade. Even when Lillard has a moment, Curry finds a way to upstage him. Fifteen minutes after Lillard won the official event, Curry was throwing a 3-point belt around his shoulder at midcourt and receiving praise as the proprietor of the 3-point arc.

In 2021, they turned the All-Star exhibition into a long-distance shootout that ended with Lillard draining the game-winning logo triple. The next year, Curry responded with 50. Until 2014, Lillard and Curry appeared to be on parallel trajectories. They were the mid-major guards situated as cornerstone players on premier West Coast franchises. Then, Golden State began their reign of terror, leaving Lillard in Curry’s dust.

Dame is turning into the Dominique Wilkins of our era. He’s perpetually being haunted by Curry in the manner that Wilkins was overshadowed by His Airness. Every generation has that guy. In the 80s, it was Wilkins being eclipsed by Jordan. T-Mac was Kobe’s underling even when healthy. Carmelo quickly lost his rivalry with LeBron James.

Lillard threw shade at Curry in 2019 after Golden State swept Portland in the Western Conference Finals, while Draymond Green and Klay Thompson nursed injuries throughout the year, then proceeded to go 35-39 during the bubble season. Two days after infamously saying, “He’s [Curry] seeing that it’s tough to get those quality looks,” Curry dropped a 62-point nuke on the Blazers.

A year later, Curry won a fourth title once everyone returned to full strength in 2022. Lillard finally has his Kevin Durant in Giannis Antetokounmpo. But even when Curry is the figurehead for a struggling franchise, Lillard is catching more strays. Almost nobody has been discussing Lillard in a positive light.

This was supposed to be the year Lillard finally triumphed over Curry. Instead, the Bucks have lost 7 of 11 games since Doc Rivers replaced Adrian Griffin and Lillard’s traffic cone defense has been given renewed scrutiny on a team that prided itself for its effort on that end under the previous regime.

Unfortunately, his career has been drowned out by Curry at almost every step. Curry and Lillard don’t have many All-Star Games left. At some point, Lillard’s got to have some pride about himself and do something about his Curry problem. whether it’s delivering a throwback Dame Time moment in the Conference Finals or NBA Finals.

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