With most teams having only one or two games left in the regular season, it is pretty clear that Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry is the favorite to win his second-consecutive NBA MVP. But that’s been done before. The real question is, will Steph be the first player to win the award unanimously?
Amazingly, no one has ever done it. Not Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. 1999-2000 Shaquille O’Neal and 2012-2013 LeBron James are the only players to come within one vote of the honor.
The award tends to be handed to the best player on the NBA’s best team. Like it or not, team performance is usually factored into the selection. So for Steph, the team is the 2015-2016 Golden State Warriors who, now more than likely with a win over the San Antonio Spurs Sunday, will finish the regular season with an NBA-record 73 wins to only nine losses.
Curry’s points per game have increased by six this season, he broke his own record for three-pointers made in a single season, and he leads the league in player efficient rating and steals.
A tough case to argue against, sure. But can he actually take home every single vote? I’m going to say no. With LeBron James, Chris Paul, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, and Russell Westbrook (who leads the NBA in triple-doubles with 17 this season) on the ballot as well, I have a hard time envisioning Steph sweeping it.
Karl-Anthony Towns has a better chance of sweeping the Rookie of the Year vote with only Kristaps Porzingis and Devin Booker potentially stealing a vote or two.
That’s not to say Steph isn’t deserving. He is, and I have no doubt he’ll win the award. I feel there’s a little too much competition, however, for him to be the first unanimous MVP.