Since the NBA began awarding Finals MVP in 1969, 17 players have won MVP and a championships in the same year. Fifteen of them won Finals MVP.
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1980 (Magic Johnson won Finals MVP for the Lakers)
- Stephen Curry in 2015 (Andre Iguodala won Finals MVP for the Warriors)
Curry could increase the all-time total by 50% this year.
And he says he’s fine with that.
“That’s obviously a highly touted award,” Curry said, “deservedly so, when a guy steps up in the biggest moments. But as long as it’s somebody from our team, means we won.
“I’ll be all right.”
Curry and Klay Thompson scored relatively little in Games 1 and 2, and that’s what this award is usually about. They deserve plenty of credit for spacing the floor and deferring to their teammates when the Cavaliers double team, but Finals MVP voters are unlikely to reward that.
Draymond Green is the early favorite, and Iguodala could repeat. Curry and even Thompson are close enough behind in the pecking order that they could catch up.
Curry says he’s fine with any Warrior winning the award, because that’s the right thing to say. A losing player has won Finals MVP only once, and that was the first one (Jerry West in 1969). If Golden State wins the title, a Golden State player will win Finals MVP.
I don’t think this Curry’s biggest concern. The championship is. But I also think he wants it to be him – and with strong play the rest of the way, it could be.
And if it’s not? He’ll probably just celebrate his title and praise whichever teammate takes best advantage of Cleveland double-teaming Curry.