The Golden State Warriors and Steph Curry set all sorts of records this season, wins (73) and 3-pointers (Curry made 402 of them) just for starters. Curry and his teammates made it awfully hard for NBA MVP voters to choose anyone other than Curry as league MVP — unless they’d get weirdly iconoclastic and consider his Warriors teammate Draymond Green, an offensive and defensive force for the league’s best squad. So in the least dramatic vote ever, Curry won his second straight MVP crown on Tuesday and set another record doing it: he’s the first to win as a unanimous choice.
The MVP is awarded for the regular season — and there is little doubt that Curry was the most valuable player on the most valuable team all season long. But as the playoffs wore on and LeBron James‘ Cleveland Cavaliers looked every bit as dominant as any Western Conference team, a few of those Curry voters may have wondered if something J.R. Smith said last year was sort of true. Here’s Smith on James:
“Not to knock anything from the other two guys [Stephen Curry and James Harden]. They’re having great years, career years for both of them, but if you want to be realistic about it, you could give it [the MVP] to [James] every time.”
That idea, on top of Curry getting injured in the playoffs and sitting out against Portland, shortened some memories. Realistically, you could give it to James, couldn’t you? Not that anybody was really having second thoughts. But anybody who was got a nice gift from Steph Curry in Game 4, when he came off the bench with an outburst that dropped 40 points on the Blazers including 17 in overtime. It was the MVP guiding the best team to a win, just like MVPs do. And it made all the voters feel great.