The 2020-21 NBA MVP votes are in, and while Steph Curry did not win the award for the third time in his career, the face of the Golden State Warriors franchise did finish third. It’s Curry’s highest MVP finish since he unanimously won the award during the 2015-16 season.
Curry received first-place MVP votes from 5 of the 100 media members with ballots, giving him the second-most first-place votes behind the winner, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić. Despite all those first-place votes, Curry lagged far behind Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid in terms of second-place votes, and that led to Embiid beating out Curry for runner-up.
Curry led the league in scoring with 32.0 points per game, and added 5.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 1.2 steals per game, while shooting 42.1% from the three-point line. Yet even with those historically great numbers, even most Warriors fans conceded that Jokić was the deserving MVP this year, as the big man averaged 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, 8.3 assists, and 1.3 steals per game, while leading the Nuggets to the No. 3 seed and playing in all 72 games.
With the third-place finish, Curry has now received MVP votes in eight different seasons, finishing first twice (2014-15 and 2015-16), third once (2020-21), fifth once (2018-19), sixth twice (2013-14 and 2016-17), 10th once (2017-18), and 11th once (2012-13).
Here’s the full list of players who received an MVP vote this season — before getting upset at a media member for giving Derrick Rose a first place vote, know that it was a cumulative fan vote. Which ... yeah, that’s silly.
- Nikola Jokić (Denver Nuggets)
- Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers)
- Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
- Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
- Chris Paul (Phoenix Suns)
- Luka Dončić (Dallas Mavericks)
- Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
- Julius Randle (New York Knicks)
- Derrick Rose (New York Knicks)
- Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz)
- Russell Westbrook (Washington Wizards)
- Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers)
- James Harden (Brooklyn Nets), LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers), and Kawhi Leonard (Los Angeles Clippers)