OAKLAND — The Greatest Basketball Player on Earth was validated as just that on Tuesday when he accepted his second-straight Most Valuable Player award at Oracle Arena.
Stephen Curry became the NBA’s first unanimous selection ever, and for good reason: He led the league in scoring, broke his own record by hitting 402 3-pointers and led the Warriors to the best regular season record in league history.
Curry is credited with changing the game. He’s viewed as a revolutionary, which means there are some who love him and others (generally old players) who fear him and the effect his otherworldly skills have had on the sport. But despite the wide-sweeping statements made about him, it’s how he performs under pressure that makes him so special.
“He’s never feared the moment,” general manager Bob Myers said after the ceremony. “He’s always embraced it, and that’s what I think the greatest players do. They embody a tremendous amount of confidence, and there’s nothing that he was given in life that would lead you to believe that he’s going to be a unanimous MVP. He’s not 6’9, he wasn’t rated the No. 1 player in high school, he wasn’t recruited to Duke or Kansas.”
Instead, Curry went to Davidson, where a player hadn’t been drafted since 1971.
But for as long as the 73 Dubs are revered in the Bay Area, it will always be the snapshots of Steph’s greatness that will remain with basketball fans throughout the nation — even if they weren’t fans prior to Curry.
There was Obama jumping in a circle at the White House, faux scolding Curry for “clowning” the hometown Washington Wizards by scoring 51 points on 28 shots, including 11 made 3-pointers.
There was the game in Oklahoma City, where Curry ripped the heart out of the Thunder’s collective chest by capping a 46-point performance with a 37-foot game-winner in overtime.
“That’s when everybody said, ‘Alright, we get it. You’re the MVP,’” Kerr recounted.
No matter the circumstances this season, Curry kept hitting shots. He made the absurd seem so routine that casual fans expected him to attempt double-digit numbers of 3s, something that years ago “would’ve been the headline,” Myers said.
On Tuesday, Curry again did something no one before him could; and he made it seem boilerplate.
“This year seemed more routine,” Kerr said. “Last year was a surprise. Steph was emotional. This year was almost, ‘ho-hum, got another MVP.’”
Curry could collect all of the individual accolades in the world, but at this point, on the day after another monumental performance, there was just one trophy on his mind.
“Thank you for supporting us every single day,” he said wrapping up his acceptance speech. “Let’s go win a championship.”