As we prepare for Game 4 of the Warriors-Blazers series, the Steph Curry MVP question lingers in the background.
Will Curry be the 2015-16 NBA most valuable player? Well, of course he will. ESPN’s Marc Stein broke the news this morning that Curry will receive the trophy, becoming just the 11th player to do so in back-to-back seasons. His teammate Draymond Green perfectly captured the mixture of awe of predictability after Golden State’s practice at the Moda Center earlier today.
“It’s significant,” Green said. “I’m not sure how many back-to-back MVPs there have been. (He was told Curry’s the 11th.) Out of how many years in the NBA? So that’s incredible. I kind of felt bad today, because I didn’t tell him congratulations. Cause I felt like I knew since December. It didn’t feel like this monumentous occasion. It didn’t feel that way, cause I’ve been knowing for six months now. I feel bad. I’m a bad teammate today.”
Green paused as reporters chuckled and added, “First World problems.”
The Warriors have become the NBA’s First World, and Curry is their statesman. But that still leaves us with The Question: Will Curry be the first unanimous MVP in league history?
It’s shocking that no player ever has received every vote – not Bill Russell, not Michael Jordan, not Magic Johnson or LeBron James. In fact, only Shaquille O’Neal (2000) and LeBron (2013) have fallen just one vote short.
To vote for someone other than Curry this year would be ludicrous. He was the MVP last year, and he got significantly better. His scoring average went from 23.8 points to 30.1. His field-goal percentage bounced from 48.7 to 50.4, his 3-point shooting percentage from 44.3 to 45.4. He is almost single-handedly changing the geometry of the basketball court And his team, the reigning NBA champion, is markedly better in 2015-16.
And yet it’s hard to shake the idea that out there is some contrarian who believes Kawhi Leonard meant more to his team, or that James is a more complete player.
Asked if he would be bothered if Curry didn’t garner 100 percent of the ballots, Kerr replied: “No. I think winning MVP would be pretty good reward, regardless of what the votes are.”
That is the correct answer. The trophy is the main thing. But it would be nice to think that we can witness yet another basketball benchmark here in the Bay Area this year, and that the sportswriters and broadcasters who pick the MVP can judge this year’s competition purely on merit.
Oh, and if you’re interested in that other Curry question – will he play against the Trail Blazers tonight? – he has been upgraded from doubtful to questionable. Curry reportedly felt good today after playing 3-on-3 yesterday. He participated in a light shootaround at Moda this morning.
The decision is coming. “We’ll make it after he gets treatment this afternoon, when we can get together will the team doctor and (GM) Bob Myers, and we’ll figure it out this afternoon,” Kerr said.
The coach has suggested that Curry’s minutes will be limited in his first game back. Will he start if he’s available?
“I don’t know. I’m not sure,” Kerr said, letting a little laugh escape. “Or maybe I do and I just prefer not to reveal my plan.”
So stay tuned. The MVP, unanimous or not, is still under the microscope.