Sports pundits are at times not too dissimilar from the fans who watch and read them.
They are prisoners of the moment, quick to hitch themselves to the bandwagons of whatever team or player that’s popping or trending at the moment, and spinning narratives around them.
It wasn’t surprising that the pundits and personalities “lost their minds” after Steph Curry dropped 49 points on the East leading Boston Celtics last Saturday. In fact, it was pure comedic gold — very amusing.
This is the same sports media who have suggested that Curry can’t win MVP with Kevin Durant on the team and they siphon votes from each other. The same media who believe that Curry is a “collaborative talent”, and subtly believe that the Golden State Warriors are now Kevin Durant’s team. Don't believe me? Just look at who ABC/ESPN had on the marquee graphics during the game, and look at Bleacher Report’s drawing of KD dunking on Kyrie Irving after the game despite Curry carrying the load.
Since Steph STEPHED and blasted a Celtics team that’s leading the league in defensive rating, the narrative changed.
How the storyline has changed
We’ve gone from a James Harden/LeBron James MVP race and everything that goes with that to: “Do we take Stephen Curry’s greatness for granted”, “Curry re-emerge as an MVP candidate”, and “Stephen Curry’s greatness hasn’t gone away, it’s been overshadowed by the arrival of Kevin Durant”
Here’s the thing: I believe the media does take Curry for granted and I also believe that the arrival of Kevin Durant is irrelevant to that. Why? Because the media dictates the narrative.
Editors, producers, and reporters all shape and shift what they want the fans to know. So therefore, the media chose to overlook, underrate and underestimate Curry’s greatness and what he brings to the league. They chose to ignore that the Warriors’ offense revolves around Curry until suffering his injury against New Orleans and those statistics were not the same. They chose to ignore the fact that he was two rebounds and less than a half assist from averaging a triple double in last year’s NBA Finals and made it seem like Durant alone carried the team. Even Durant had to tell y’all to put some respect on Curry’s name.
News legend Dan Rather even tweeted about your omissions. WYD, guys?
Steph Curry’s impressive January
Since his return to the lineup after injury, Curry is averaging 31.5 points per game on 54 percent shooting and 50 percent from three. He is also third in the league in scoring and nearing an average of 50/40/90 on the season. So the $200 million dollar question and the freshest narrative on the block is “Is Stephen Curry the MVP frontrunner now?”
For all of the praise that Curry is receiving now, you can anticipate that the media will find a way not to give the award to him. They will mention that Curry missed 15 games to James Harden’s 7, but won't mention that missing 11 games in the 2000-01 season didn’t stop Allen Iverson from winning league MVP.
They will mention that Curry is flanked by Durant and they will cancel each other out of consideration. Yet, James Harden has Chris Paul with him in Houston and Russell Westbrook is now 1/3rd of “OK3” now that Paul George and Carmelo Anthony is there. Teammates are now just an excuse — if Curry continues this pace, how can you say that he doesn’t deserve MVP?
Will praise translate into votes?
With that said, if Curry sustains the stretch for a month and a half to two months, I dare the media to back up this praise with some MVP votes. I want that same ‘ol love in April and May. Granted, I know that Harden has been playing phenomenally this year and is without question the front-runner and deep in your hearts you don’t want him to be “Susan Lucci” with a Eurostep — you want him to get his “Daytime Emmy” disguised as the Maurice Podoloff Trophy. I understand that, and much respect to Harden and his season. But what if he dives and Curry proves to be more consistent? Will the media punk out and award Harden the trophy anyway just to spite Curry, the Warriors and their embarrassment of riches? Will the media find a way to award it to Westbrook? Or how about a fifth MVP for ‘Bron-Bron, who the media remind us ad nauseam that he’s playing at this level in his 15th season at 33-years-old?
If the media insists on ruling Curry out of consideration yet, get on TV or online and talk about how Curry is having an underrated year that’s better than his MVP campaigns, and how can you take him for granted? All I can say is, in the wise words of DJ Khaled, “Congratulations, you played yourself”.
The choice is truly yours.