Set your alarm, set your DVR, and make sure your ClutchPoints notifications are on before tonight’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

Another year, yet another NBA Finals matchup featuring LeBron James. For the past six years LeBron has headlined the NBA Finals as “the best player in the league.” The success of the Warriors and emergence of Steph Curry these past two years have ramped up the discussion of whether LeBron still deserves to be the King of the NBA. With that, we look at who has more pressure to win the NBA championship, LeBron or Curry?

Let’s begin with NBA’s newest sensation, Chef Curry. Curry’s recent success leaves no question why Curry has become the NBA’s most polarizing player. Curry is an NBA champion, All-Star, and two-time MVP – this year becoming the NBA’s first ever-unanimous MVP. There’s no doubt Curry has marked change for the league; his style of play is something we’ve never seen before, and for fans it’s exhilarating – from making threes from half court, incredible cross-over dribbling skills, pregame shoot around routines that bring spectators in early, to his off-balance step-back threes that he looks away with confidence. But the truth is, Curry has been producing like this the past four seasons. Though it’s been exciting watching him shatter three-point records and fill up the highlight reel, he was never the highly-touted prospect that LeBron was coming out of the draft. His numbers the past four seasons are much flashier than LeBron’s, but should that be enough to take the crown from the king?

Associated Press
Associated Press

LeBron always will be in the conversation for greatest player the NBA has ever seen. Say what you will about LeBron, but he’s dominated the NBA throughout his career through his uncontainable physicality and athleticism. Through LeBron’s career he’s seen the accolades pile up: four-time MVP , two-time Finals MVP, twelve-time All-Star, and two-time NBA Champion. But that last point is exactly the cause for the question. Despite all of LeBron’s regular season success, if LeBron loses this NBA Finals, it will be the third consecutive NBA Finals he’s come up short. A repeat loss to the Warriors this year would put LeBron at a 2-5 record in the Finals, making a .500-plus record in the Finals for his career improbable – he'd have to make it back at least another three times.

Though Curry’s regular and postseason play these past four years have really amazed even past NBA greats, it’s still not enough to take the crown from LeBron. Lately we’ve seen LeBron play during the regular season on a lower gear with a greater goal in mind, winning in the postseason.

Every NBA enthusiast knows that when LeBron wants to take over a game, he very well can and that’s what makes him still the king. But even with the title of “King James,” should LeBron lose for the fifth time in the Finals that would put Curry with the same amount of rings as LeBron in half the number of seasons. It may not be time for Curry’s reign quite yet, but winning this second championship will certainly expedite the process, and coming second in another NBA Finals will most definitely taint LeBron’s legacy.

[button width=”full” button size=”bigger” color=”custom” align=”center” textcolor=”#ffffff” texthcolor=”#ffffff” bgcolor=”#8b0000″ link=””]NEXT: Steph Curry reveals how he feels about taking ‘LeBron's throne' from him[/button]