After leading Golden State to a NBA-record 73-win season, Stephen Curry accepted his second-straight Kia Most Valuable Player award trophy Tuesday as the first unanimous MVP in the league’s history, collecting all 131 first place votes.
Curry becomes the 11th player in league history to win back-to-back MVPs, and the first to do so since LeBron James in 2012-2013.
Emotions were less evident than last season, as Curry appeared to not fight back tears, instead being incredibly gracious and thanking everyone that helped him get to where he is.
The 28-year-old Curry noted how this season’s MVP run was different than last year’s:
“Its totally different than last year. Different journey, different expectations, and different pressures. After a year of really just aiming to get better, it’s an achievement. Its not an easy task.”
In his seventh season, Curry led the NBA in points per game with (30.1) and steals (2.14), while racking up 6.7 assists (eleventh in the league), and 5.4 rebounds.
Where Curry did historic damage was from beyond the arc, leading the NBA in three-pointers for the third-straight season. Curry drained a record 403 from distance at a scorching .454 clip.
“I never really set out to change the game. I never thought that would happen in my career. How I play the game is how I know how to play the game. It’s what I work on every single day.”
Curry becomes the seventh player in league history to shoot 50 percent from the field, 40 from three, and 90 percent from the free throw line, and only the second player to post a 50/45/90 season since Steve Nash, Warriors player development consultant who was in attendance.
Golden State general manager Bob Myers — who inherited Curry when he took over for Larry Riley in 2012 — was emotional and thanked Curry for everything that he meant to the organization, fan base and ownership:
“Everyone who steps in our offices every day, they appreciate you, you are revered, and it is deserved. There is nothing fake about you. You are as authentic as the come.”
Head Coach Steve Kerr said he was in awe at the level Curry played, even after winning the NBA title last season:
“There is a reason this is happening. The determination you have. Winning the MVP last year wasn’t enough. You came back this year dramatically better, that’s amazing. How does that happen? It has to be something inside.”
The closest the NBA got to a unanimous MVP before Curry was James in 2012-2013 and Shaquille O’Neal in his dominant 1999-2000 campaign. Each fell one vote short.
Curry and Golden State hope to celebrate their latest accolade in style when they face Portland Wednesday night. The Warriors are one win away from clinching a berth in the Western Conference Finals.