Stephen Curry has won the MVP award by a unanimous vote, the NBA announced via press release. He’s the first-ever unanimous winner. Shaquille O’Neal and LeBron James each fell one vote shy of winning MVP unanimously in 2000 and 2013, respectively. Curry collected 130 first-place votes from writers and broadcasters as well as the fan vote, according to the league.
It’s the second straight MVP award for the 28-year-old Curry, whose salary of less than $11.4MM makes him only No. 63 among the highest-paid players in the NBA, as The Vertical’s Bobby Marks notes (on Twitter). Next season will be the last on the discounted extension he signed amid concerns over the health of his ankles in 2012.
Curry exploded for 17 points in overtime to lead the Warriors over Portland in Game 4 of their series Monday, setting a new NBA record for the most points scored in either a regular season or playoff overtime. It was just the latest astounding performance for Curry, who came off the bench in that game. His 402 total 3-pointers made this season shattered the previous record of 286, a mark he set just last season. Just the seventh pick in the 2009 draft, Curry’s game has since blossomed in ways no one thought possible, epitomizing the NBA’s increasing emphasis on the 3-pointer. He was the NBA’s leading scorer at 30.1 points per game this season, 6.1 points better than his previous career best, and he finished fourth in Most Improved Player of the Year award voting.
The 6’3″ Curry isn’t just a one-way player, either. He led the NBA with 2.1 steals per game and finished sixth among point guards in ESPN’s Defensive Real Plus Minus metric.
Perhaps most importantly, Curry stood out as the best player on the team that compiled the best regular season record in NBA history, as the Warriors went 73-9 this year. Golden State has lost twice thus far in the playoffs, both in games that Curry missed because of injury. His performance Monday erased any doubt about his ability to be at full strength going forward, however.
Kawhi Leonard finished second in the voting, followed closely by LeBron James. Thunder stars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant were fourth and fifth, respectively. The balloting system awarded 10 points for a first-place vote, seven points for a second-place vote, five points for a third-place vote, three points for a fourth-place vote and one point for a fifth-place vote. To see a ballot-by-ballot breakdown, click here.
All of this year’s vote-getters are listed below, along with their point totals.
- Stephen Curry (Warriors) — 1,310
- Kawhi Leonard (Spurs) — 634
- LeBron James (Cavaliers) — 631
- Russell Westbrook (Thunder) — 486
- Kevin Durant (Thunder) — 147
- Chris Paul (Clippers) — 107
- Draymond Green (Warriors) — 50
- Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers) — 26
- James Harden (Rockets) — 9
- Kyle Lowry (Raptors) — 6