There are always going to be critics. In a sport like the NBA, where there is so much weight placed on the individual aspect of the game, that holds especially true.
Whether it be LeBron’s (original) decision, Kobe’s inability to be self-aware and his off-the-court issues, or even Kevin Durant’s inability to carry himself on social media; almost all superstars have their flaws — even if they’re fabricated by the fans.
But Stephen Curry is different.
I thought long and hard before writing this, trying to think of something — anything — you can dislike Steph Curry for.
You can’t. And it’s incredibly refreshing.
Rarely do we see NBA players at Curry’s MVP-level having as much fun on a nightly basis. Sure, it’s easier to do when you play on the best team in the league, but it’s largely because of Curry that Golden State is even in that position.
Remember when Nick Young did this? You know, turned around and threw his arms in the air before the ball went through the hoop? Well, he missed and everybody hated him for it.
But Steph Curry only makes shots, and thus we think it’s awesome. When Steph Curry has fun, we have fun.
As the NBA playoffs separate pretenders from contenders, NBA MVP talk is naturally running rampant. The consensus among the national media paints a four-horse race between James Harden, Russell Westbrook, LeBron, and Curry, with each presenting different and valid arguments.
LeBron took Cleveland from worst to division champions while watching his old team in Miami sink from the NBA Finals to out of the playoffs in one season.
James Harden has overcome the Houston Rockets’ chronic injury issues to lead the NBA in scoring (27.6 PPG), keeping Houston near the top of the Western Conference standings in the process.
Russell Westbrook, if you’ve given up technology since February 1, has taken the NBA by storm. Overcoming his own physical issues and also a season-long injury to reigning MVP Durant,Westbrook has produced an unconscious 11 triple-doubles.
Those three all have a legitimate argument for MVP, but that would depend on your interpretation of the award’s qualification. And for me, one of the biggest factors in naming the MVP is if you can answer two questions:
- Are you the best player on the best team?
- Would your team be as good without you?
The Warriors are a good team from top to bottom, but everything flows through Steph.
The same could be said about Harden, but Curry and the Warriors are literally on a different level.
Via Ben Golliver:
For Golden State, having Steph Curry as a scoring point guard who is also an elite passer, capable defender and takes care of the ball is why they’ve obliterated offensive efficiency standards this year.
It’s been a fantastic MVP race between four deserving candidates, something we haven’t been treated to in some time. But the year Steph Curry is having is special.
In early April, he broke his own record against Portland for most made three-pointers in a single season as part of a 45-point night. Earlier this season, he won the three-point contest at All-Star weekend. All season long, he’s been the best player on the NBA’s best team.
And he’s having a goddamn blast doing it.
— The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) April 10, 2015
So often, the NBA MVP is given to the player with the best story. That’s why Derrick Rose won it in 2011, and it’s why Kevin Durant won it last year.
And here in 2015, Steph Curry is writing a story we haven’t seen before.