It was no surprise when Golden State War-riors guard Stephen Curry recently won his second straight Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. Curry led his team to the best regular season record in NBA history (73-9). Along the way, he led the NBA in scoring, steals, three-point shots made, and free throw percentage. He also shot a career-high 50.4% from the field, the NBA’s highest mark for guards, and 45.4 percent from beyond the arc.
Curry is the first NBA player in history to win the award via unanimous vote. He is also the 11th player to win back-to-back MVPs. He joins Steve Nash and Magic Johnson as the only point guards to win in consecutive seasons. He is the fourth player in NBA history to average at least 30 points, six assists, five rebounds, and two steals in a season. He joins the elite group of Michael Jordan, Dwyane Wade, and Rick Barry. His averages would have been much higher but in most games, he sits out the entire fourth quarter since his team is leading big by that time.
Aside from the impressive statistics and records he compiled this season, Curry’s impact is being felt in all levels of the game. He is leading a basketball revolution, a revolution wherein you don’t need size and heft in a sport that values “height is might.” He is changing the game with his unworldly long-range shooting, unmatched ball handling skills, and court vision. Some analysts have called him “the greatest shooter in basketball history.” He has an unorthodox shot wherein he is able to get the ball out of his hands in less than half a second.
He is well loved by fans and teammates alike. Despite being full-fledged superstar, he is still approachable and refreshingly low maintenance. He doesn’t have an ego of a Kobe Bryant so he is now the (baby) face of the NBA and is a global icon, representing all that is good in the game of basketball.
His rise has been nothing short of spectacular. He was the skinny and small kid who had a hard time getting a basketball scholarship and had to settle for a small-time college (Davidson). During his early NBA years (2011 and 2012), he had serious foot injuries requiring several surgeries. He was considered too risky that he agreed to only a four-year $44 million rookie scale extension in the 2012-2013.
Fast-forward to today and his salary is considered a pittance compared to the success that he has brought to the Warriors franchise. The Warriors have now advanced to the Western Conference Finals and will face the Oklahoma City Thunder. If Curry and the Warriors win their second championship, Curry can lay claim to being the best player on the planet, despite what LeBron James thinks.