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LeBron James more valuable to his team, NBA than Stephen Curry, according to Cleveland Cavaliers GM David Griffin

Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) and Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (23) exchange some words in low tone toward the end of the fourth quarter of a NBA game at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Friday, Jan. 9, 2015. Warriors 112-94. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) and Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (23) exchange some words in low tone toward the end of the fourth quarter of a NBA game at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Friday, Jan. 9, 2015. Warriors 112-94. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin said Thursday he believes LeBron James is more valuable to his team and the NBA than two-time reigning MVP Stephen Curry.

“I would have said that Michael Jordan was the MVP every year of his prime, and I would tell you that LeBron is as well,” Griffin told the Jim Rome Show on Thursday. “If V is valuable, I don’t see any way that there’s a player that means more to our league or to his individual team than LeBron does or than Michael did. But I certainly think the seasons that Steph has put together are historically good. He’s a player that has taken a team to an unprecedented record and a championship, and he deserves all the accolades he gets, but in terms of value to a league, I think LeBron is the face of this league just as Michael Jordan was.

“I think so just in terms of the word ‘value,’ and again, we can get into a semantics question there, but I think if we’re really talking about who’s carrying a franchise and a league, I think LeBron does that, and our record without LeBron on the floor is not terribly good. He’s a guy who transcends every analytic metric you could ever use.”

Griffin’s comments came a day after Curry on the court was presented the MVP trophy after becoming the first player to win it by a unanimous vote and James following a third-place finish congratulated the Warriors star.

“I think he definitely deserved it,” James told reporters. “Obviously you look at his numbers, you look at their success. But I think there’s a lot of valuable guys in our league that add value to their team.

“You look at Steph’s numbers. I mean, he averaged 30 (points per game). I think he led the league in steals. He was 90-50-40 (percent on free throws, field goals and 3-point attempts), and they won 73 wins. Can you have really any debate over that really when it comes to that award? But when you talk about most valuable, then you can have a different conversation. But take nothing away from him. He’s definitely deserving of that award for sure.”

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Warriors’ Bob Myers ran into LeBron James in Hawaii while celebrating NBA championship

Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers smiles during a press conference introducing new head coach Steve Kerr at the Warriors' practice facility in downtown Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, May 20, 2014. Kerr is currently a TNT commentator, was the general manager of the Phoenix Suns, and was a guard with the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs. He is one of two players to win two championships with two different teams in consecutive seasons. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers smiles during a press conference introducing new head coach Steve Kerr at the Warriors’ practice facility in downtown Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, May 20, 2014. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

Busy Warriors general manager Bob Myers had a brief moment to celebrate the team’s championship with a vacation to Hawaii with his family after the draft and free agency were done.

Out there, he encountered none other than LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers star the Warriors had just gotten the best of in the NBA Finals, Myers told Bleacher Report Radio on Monday.

“I like to play basketball, and there was a halfcourt basketball hoop where we were, and my wife said, ‘Why don’t you go play basketball and find somebody to play basketball with?’” Myers said. “And I said there’s no one here that I’m going to be able to play basketball with. It’s people relaxing or golfing. And so I went and kind of shot around by myself and then I walked back to the pool area and my wife she looks at me and goes, ‘Is that LeBron James in the pool?’ And I said, ‘No, LeBron James…’ I looked over as I was midsentence, and it was LeBron James in the pool.

Myers, the reigning Executive of the Year, added with a laugh, “I said to my wife, I don’t think I’m going to ask LeBron to play basketball with me.”

James, of course, had fun on his Hawaiian vacation with family, too, and had no problem speaking with Myers.

“He was very nice,” Myers said. “He’s a very thoughtful guy.

“We just talked about the Finals…We just talked about our teams, and it was great.”

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Live updates tonight: Warriors vs. Cavaliers

Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) and Draymond Green (23) begin to celebrate their National Basketball Association championship as they defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the fourth quarter of Game 6 of the NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) and Draymond Green (23) begin to celebrate their National Basketball Association championship as they defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the fourth quarter of Game 6 of the NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

Get the latest score and analysis during the Warriors’ game against the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Monday at 5 p.m. Follow Bay Area News Group beat writer Diamond Leung and others here for live updates and commentary.

If viewing on a mobile device, click here.

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NBA Finals Links: Warriors’ Stephen Curry, Cavaliers’ LeBron James prove Akron is where stars are born

Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) and Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (23) exchange some words in low tone toward the end of the fourth quarter of a NBA game at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Friday, Jan. 9, 2015. Warriors 112-94.  (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) and Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (23) exchange some words at the end of the fourth quarter on Friday, Jan. 9, 2015. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

Can’t get enough of the NBA Finals? You’ve come to the right place.
We’ll keep you updated on what others are writing and saying about the Warriors and Cavaliers as they battle for the Larry O’Brien Trophy beginning on Thursday in Oakland.

In case you missed it, here is a roundup of our latest NBA Finals stories:

* Believe it or not, LeBron James once played for Oakland.

* Our live feed during Game 1 on Thursday.

* Tim Kawakami on the two sides of Warriors coach Steve Kerr.

* Mark Purdy on how hard it is to root against LeBron James.

* The Warriors’ 105-year-old fan gets tickets to Game 1.

* Marcus Thompson lists 20 things casual fans need to know about this matchup.

Here are a few stories produced by the Cleveland-area press corps as well as some national stories focusing on the Cavaliers:

* Did you know that both LeBron James and Stephen Curry were born in the same Akron, Ohio hospital, 36 months apart?: Here are their birth certificates to prove it.

* Watch out, Warriors. LeBron says he’s playing the best basketball of his career: Is LeBron now unstoppable?

* Cavaliers coach David Blatt actually agreed to become a Warriors assistant coach before the season. Then the Cavaliers came calling. Blatt thanks Steve Kerr for letting him out of his deal.

* Matthew Dellavedova from Saint Mary’s loves to mix it up, says teammate Kyrie Irving: “When he first came, there was almost a fist fight every day in practice … It’s just that Australian blood” Watch: Irving talking about the scrappy Dellavedova

* If there’s one area where LeBron James is struggling it’s from beyond the arc. What can be done about LeBron’s long-distance woes?

* How bad of a season has it been for the Cavs’ Kevin Love? He’s out for the season, but it didn’t stop Love from re-aggravating his shoulder injury.

* A cynic might call it a helluva lie, but LeBron James says rookie Cavs coach David Blatt has had a helluva season.

4

Harrison Barnes Gets First Crack as Mark Jackson Experiments with Starting Lineups

ONTARIO, Calif. — Mark Jackson said he’s not into playing mind games. If he knew who his starters were for the season, he would just say it. He doesn’t, he assured. He’s still trying to figure out which lineup gives his Warriors the best chance to win.

It is with that context he revealed guard Klay Thompson, who has started 122 consecutive games with Golden State (including playoffs), will come off the bench for tonight’s preseason opener.

Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala will start in the backcourt, with Harrison Barnes, David Lee and center Andrew Bogut will start against the Los Angeles Lakers at Citizens Business Bank Arena.

Is this insight into Jackson’s first choice, or is this his I’m-not-going-to-show-my-cards-early lineup? Is he anointing Barnes or motivating Thompson? Has Iguodala an automatic starter?

“Truthfully,” Jackson said, “there is zero to read into it.”

The Warriors, who have all five starters from last season, found themselves with a good problem to have by acquiring Iguodala — giving them six players capable of starting.

Curry, Lee and Bogut are etched in stone as long as they’re healthy, per Jackson. That leaves three wing players and two starting spots available. Jackson said he will use the preseason to experiment, figure out which five is the best fit. The odd man out will serve as the sixth man.

He said Thompson will get a chance to start this preseason. He also suggested you may see Iguodala come off the bench at some point in the exhibition.

“Don’t read anything into it,” Jackson reiterated. “It’s just the way we’re starting tonight. You could go either way. Klay and Iguodala (starting) or Klay and Barnes. … All those guys are going to play a lot. This is just the way I’m starting tonight.”

Here is a break down of each scenario:

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David Lee Named All-NBA; Stephen Curry is Not

All-Star forward David Lee was named third-team All-NBA, the league announced Thursday.

Lee is the first Warrior to make All-NBA since Latrell Sprewell was first-team in 1993-94. Back in February, Lee became the first Warriors’ All-Star since Sprewell in 1997.

Lee was the only player in the NBA to average at least 18 points, 11 rebounds and three assists. He’s the fifth Warrior to post those numbers in a single season. The other four: Wilt Chamberlain, Nate Thurmond, Jerry Lucas and Neil Johnston. Led led the NBA with 31 games with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, the most since Thurmond in 1971-72. Golden State was 25-6 in those games.

Despite a monster second-half of the season, Warriors point guard Stephen Curry was not selected.

MARK JACKSON: “Happy for and proud of David Lee. It is well-deserved. As far as Steph, the great thing is that the world now knows, even if the voters don’t.”

Here are the selections:

First Team

Forward           LeBron James, Miami                       595

Forward           Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City         555

Center              Tim Duncan, San Antonio                392

Guard               Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers                 521

Guard               Chris Paul, L.A. Clipper                   537

Second Team

Forward          Carmelo Anthony, New York            397

Forward          Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers               132

Center             Marc Gasol, Memphis (38)                295

Guard              Tony Parker, San Antonio (16)         273

Guard              Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City 306

Third Team

Forward          David Lee, Golden State                      79

Forward          Paul George, Indiana                          73

Center             Dwight Howard, L.A. Lakers             203

Guard              Dwyane Wade, Miami                        145

Guard              James Harden, Houston                    253

Curry totaled 72 points, the most of any guard not selected (next was Ty Lawson with 8 votes). But Curry was well behind Wade, who had the fewest points of any guard selected.

12

Warriors Survive and Advance, Finish off Nuggets 4-2

By Marcus Thompson II

mthomps2@bayareanewsgroup.com

OAKLAND — It might’ve taken all the defibrillators in the Bay Area to revive the nearly 20,000 fans at Oracle Arena whose hearts stopped Thursday.

Golden State nearly squandered an 18-point lead, and another star-like performance from point guard Stephen Curry — who changed the tide of the game with another big third quarter before his home crowd. But in the end, after a compilation of turnovers, guard Jarrett Jack made a pair of free throws in the final seconds to seal the 92-88 win over the Denver Nuggets, clinching the riveting first-round upset, 4-2.

The sixth-seeded Warriors advance to the second round against the No. 2 San Antonio Spurs. Game 1 is Monday in Texas.

“When we were down in the first half,” coach Mark Jackson said. “I pulled him aside and said, ‘There’s going to be a point in this game where you’re going to take over because you’re the best player on the floor. And what will happen is everybody else will follow you. And sure enough …”

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