For a majority of the 21st-century, the NBA’s Most Valuable Player Award has basically been The LeBron James Show. During The LeBron James Show’s decade run, NBA writers arbitrarily decide whether or not the regular season MVP should go to the league’s best player, LeBron, or if they feel like “spreading the wealth” to another NBA star. You can almost think of it as an “MVP Redistribution Program”. BronBron won the league’s top honor in 4 out of 5 years from 2008-2009 to 2012-2013. BronBron has finished in the Top-5 in MVP voting for 11 straight years (and hasn’t missed one since his 3rd season in the league).
In the only year in which BronBron failed to earn the regular season MVP during the 5-year timespan we referenced above, Derrick Rose won the league’s top honor. Rose’s MVP has often been laughed at in retrospect and discredited as part of just the “MVP Redistribution Program”. Many feel LeBron deserved the MVP that year while Rose was ultimately unworthy.
Which brings us to Steph Curry. While I often hear about Rose’s “empty” MVP time after time, I’ve failed to hear or read about anyone questioning the worthiness of Curry’s 1st MVP season. Listen, Curry was unquestionably the MVP this season and deservedly won the award. But as for last year…. let’s do a mini swan-dive into some stats that might be eye opening.
Let’s take a look at Derrick Rose’s stats compared to LeBron James’ stats during Rose’s MVP season (all stats via Basketball Reference):
As you can see, LeBron led Rose in Points and Rebounds while slightly trailing the Chicago native by less than 1 Assist per game. However, due to Rose’s meteoric rise, his hometown-hero story, and his ability to lead the Bulls to the #1 seed in an Eastern Conference that featured the Big 3 in Miami, Rose was awarded the league MVP.
Now let’s pivot to Steph Curry’s stats compared to LeBron James’ stats during Curry’s MVP season (all stats via Basketball Reference):
Hmmm…. looks kinda like Steph Curry had a pretty similar season as Derrick Rose did relative to LeBron James’ own stats. Yet for some reason, I haven’t heard a single word questioning the worthiness of Curry’s first MVP season?
Want to know why? Because Steph Curry was anointed as Mr. Adorable by the media while he and his gang of Warriors couldn’t possibly do anything wrong. Or at least we thought….
All of that changed during the 2016 NBA Finals though. I guess we’ll see if more pieces like this one emerge this summer regarding the unquestioned awesomeness of the Golden State Warriors and all there glory.