Mark Schwartz reiterated the fact that Curry played in four NBA Finals and has yet to win the Finals MVP award, assumed that he cares less, and asked what did it say about the Golden State Warriors’ locker room and its unselfishness. It was a fair and solid question on the surface. However, the focus was more about the introductory statement about the MVP than it was about the question regarding the locker room’s culture.
Schwartz tried it and pressed his luck with Kevin Durant in his postgame presser. Soon as Durant moved that Bill Russell Trophy off to his right, Schwartz talked about Curry’s performances throughout the series and once again brought up the fact that Curry has never won a Finals MVP. Durant shut that question down before Schwartz finished.
“Does it matter?” Durant snapped. “Does it? We won two championships. Just won back to back. I don't think nobody is worried about that type of stuff.”
Kevin Durant quickly shuts down Mark Schwarz's question about Steph Curry not winning Finals MVP pic.twitter.com/DX4Y1yT7bR— gifdsports (@gifdsports) June 9, 2018
Durant is right. In the grand scheme of it all regarding the totality of a career, winning a Finals MVP—while it is a prestigious award to have on a player’s resume—matters less than winning a championship not to mention winning a championship PLUS having other accolades and records.
Deep down in the back of the media’s mind, the Finals MVP matters less in comparison to the championship. They know it, but they are hyping it up by consistently mentioning it to matter more than what it does when you look at the totality of Curry’s and Durant’s careers.
For two years, the media at large has been searching for something-anything to break up this locker room. They’ve been grasping for straws, rummaging in the trash, sewers, and gutters searching for any crumb and morsel to blow up to stir up friction and dissent in the Warriors’ locker room just so they can say that “competitive balance” has been restored in the league (which, in reality, they don't care about, but that’s another story for a different day). They believe they have found a seed in using the Finals MVP to drive a wedge between Curry and Durant, and now sown and fertilized that seed with hype.
The theme of the entire playoffs for me is it isn’t what you do, it’s how you do it -- it’s been that way from the Western Conference Finals up to and including the Finals MVP vote. I have no problem with Durant winning the Finals MVP award because he had a phenomenal argument: consistent numbers in Games 1 & 2, a triple double in Game 4, as well as that 43-point demolition in Game 3.
But Curry played strong and well.
He led the Warriors with 29 in Game 1. He broke the Finals record for threes made in Game 2, rebounded from Game 3 and made the closeout Game 4 a blow out- putting up 37 points, and also getting it done on defense with 3 blocks and a steal. Plus he had a narrative as fickle and fleeting as it was. Granted, Curry’s Game 3 was atrocious. He shot 3-for-16 from the field; however, he held his own defensively and still came up big in the clutch. His only three was the three that helped the Warriors pull away during the final minutes of Game 3.
If we’re really keeping it a buck today, Durant and Curry really should have been the first co-MVPs in Finals history. They were dominant in various stretches of the series. Again you could have made an argument for either of these players. Personally, a co-MVP would have been more right.
But a co-MVP would be detrimental to two on-going narratives used to discredit and destroy the team. Durant and Curry holding the Bill Russell trophy together would have eliminated the thoughts of:
1. The Warriors needing Durant to win and beat James.
2. Curry can't carry a team and disappears in the playoffs and Finals.
The Bay Area media understands Curry and how he has elevated his game to the level he’s on. They understand how he is the Warriors’ most important player. Bay Area News Group’s Dieter Kurtenbach said of Curry after game 2.
“Curry has saved his best basketball for last. At the moment, like James, Curry is omnipotent on the court -Unlocking the full juggernaut potential of the Warriors’ offense and making the Cavs’ defense look every bit like the team that finished second to last in defensive ranking in the regular season.”
However, the national media, in earnest, may not understand Curry’s impact. If they don't understand and do not bother to understand Curry’s impact, they have this tendency of doling out back-handed compliments and when Steph STEPHS, they write and say things alluding to downplaying his greatness and taking him for granted.
The national media should stop with the remorse and mea culpa pieces when it comes to Curry if they are going to discredit and give him yet another backhanded compliment later. The truth is that the media has a choice on what or who they want to highlight. Unless they are manipulated.
Speaking of manipulation, how about Nichols saying, after all the backpedalling and emotional gymnastics she performed to defend her decision to vote for Durant over Curry, that it is dumb that there is handwringing over Curry not having a Finals MVP only to say that LeBron James influenced her vote!
What the hell does ‘Bron have to do with this? It’s no secret that James thinks Durant and Durant alone is the difference maker for the Warriors and James’ opinion may be a by product of his reported resentment and on-court disdain for Curry. The fact that Nichols implied that LeBron influenced her vote makes her credibility and objectivity questionable .
It’s cool for James to concede to Durant instead of his nemesis for the past two years, so Nichols and the rest of the media stay on code here.
Why? Because of narratives and the possibility of tearing apart the Dubs from the inside.
Despite the noise, the Warriors remain steadfast in their bond with one another. They have so far avoided the “disease of more” and the “disease of me” and a Warriors-weary media doesn’t know what to do.
All the media can do at this point is keep grasping for negativity, continue to plant seeds of doubt, continue to whine about Durant’s decision and continue to try and tear Curry down because he doesn’t fit the mold and has the audacity to defy the limits put on him.
They can also keep trying to “Run With The Winners” by making excuses for and sucking up to their “King,“ knowing good and well that he and his crew don’t really love them like that.
All they can do is create more noise while being sick to their stomachs watching the Warriors win.
Be better someday.
Who was your choice for 2018 Finals MVP?
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