A number of former NBA superstars have taken issue — to varying degrees — with Stephen Curry’s second straight MVP win, this time by unanimous vote. But the NBA alum like Tracy McGrady and Gary Payton aren’t saying Steph Curry didn’t deserve to win the award. (LeBron James may think otherwise, but that’s a different story.) What Gary Payton is pointing out is that the accolades Curry is receiving for being the first unanimous choice are probably overdone.
Payton believes two things are problematic about Curry’s unanimous selection. First, that neither LeBron James or Kawhi Leonard got a single first place vote. 131 writers vote for the MVP — at least one had to think James was the most valuable player in the league. That’s Payton’s belief. And second, even if Curry did deserve to be a unanimous choice, Payton argues, he shouldn’t have been the first one. What about Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Payton asks? “You look at Michael Jordan. When they set the record at 72-10 in 1996, he didn’t get all the votes,” an incredulous Payton said on SiriusXM. A lot of current and former players simply agree with J.R. Smith who said last year that “if you want to be realistic about it, you could give it [the MVP] to [James] every time.” How could not one of the 131 writers agree? That’s what Payton is saying.