Stephen Curry's incredible form so far this season has made him the firm favourite to claim back-to-back NBA MVP awards, as well as helping to put the Golden State Warriors in a strong position to win a second straight Larry O'Brien Trophy.
In recent weeks, however, Curry's performances have been belittled by a number of high-profile former players - the likes of Oscar Robertson questioning whether the diminutive point guard's game would have brought success in past eras.
Well now, LeBron James - a man well versed in handling the pressure of being the NBA's leading light - has leaped to the defense of Curry, admitting it "kind of sucks" when the older generation talk down about the current stars.
"For me personally, in my career I’ve done nothing but big-up the guys who paved the way for us,” the four-time MVP said, via USA Today.
“I’m respectful to all the guys who paved the way, the greats, guys who were role players, guys who were part of a championship team or was not.
"I’ve always been respectful, so it does kind of suck when you’ve got guys who played before us and paved the way for us (and) …they like to talk down on a lot of our players, saying, ‘Well if they played in our era it wouldn’t be the same.’”
Tough at the top
As arguably the NBA's biggest star for over a decade, James can relate to Curry's current situation. Old pros taking aim at you appears to come with the territory when you're the league's best:
“I heard Dennis Rodman say if I played in their era I’d just be an average player – yeah, about me, that I’d be just an average player,” the Cleveland Cavaliers star continued.
“And they say the same things about Steph, ‘If Steph played in our era, then we’d be more physical with him and we’d go at him.’
"And it sucks because we’re just trying to carry the torch for the next group to come behind us."
Curry - and penchant for the long-range shooting that has reaised questions from some former players - hasn't been affected by any of the criticism in recent times.
He still leads the league in scoring and shows no signs of slowing down as the business end of the season approaches.
Nevertheless, it is always good to know you have the backing of your fellow peers. LeBron's comments this week have made it very clear he has the support of one of the most high-profile names, at least.
Of course, if the Cavs and Warriors meet in the Finals again later this season, the pleasantries will be put on hold. If Curry can come out on top to grab his second ring, however, his doubters will be well and truly silenced.