On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS May 16, 2016 #593 Up next…”MVP-MVP-MVP”
After further review…”Unanimous” was the word from the NBA selection committee, which announced as its 2015-16 MVP point guard Steph Curry of the current world champion Golden State Warriors. No surprise there; this season, he eclipsed his own regular season 3-point-made record by launching 402 of his “Wait-for-it” missiles (that’s his trademark utterance upon release of the ball). His T*E*A*M, due in large measure to Curry’s contributions, won 73 games for the first time in NBA history. Further, his record streak for consecutive games with at least one 3-pointer is still growing as the NBA playoffs move to the Western Conference finals this week.
What is startling is that 6’ 3” Curry is the first player in the NBA’s 61-year history to receive all 131 first place votes! LeBron James in 2013 and Shaquille O’Neil in 2000, as singularly dominant as they were in those years, each fell one vote shy of unanimity. Curry now is in a class by himself. Well done, Steph! Yet hold your applause, since not everyone believes the vote is justified. Tracy McGrady (“T-Mac”), formerly of the Houston Rockets and now an NBA commentator, couldn’t resist demeaning Curry’s accomplishments. McGrady said Curry’s success was performed in a “watered down” NBA. McGrady, who once scored 41 points for the Rockets, said that NBA greats in days gone by “really played against top-notch competition.” Nonsense. Sports records need to be evaluated within the scope of the playing conditions that produced them, not throughout history.
Consider that in game four of the first round vs. Houston, Curry slipped while playing defense and damaged the MCL in his right knee, putting him on injured reserve for four weeks. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr held Curry out until midway through the first quarter of game four in the next round with the Portland Trailblazers. Kerr intended to play him only 18 minutes, since Curry was not at peak conditioning. However, with the game tied at 100 and going into overtime, Curry played 36 minutes, including all five OT minutes, during which he scored 17 points to set another NBA record. All this occurred after the MVP voting had been completed! Following that OT performance TNT commentator and former NBA All-Star Charles Barkley, who could comment on ducks racing in a pond, was speechless. Fans can thank Curry for silencing a voice that rarely quiets on its own.
What impresses the TunneySide is not just the “touch” of Curry’s shooting hand, but also his daily disciplined practice, his ball-handling, his alert passing to teammates, and getting everyone on the Warriors to play together as a T*E*A*M. It’s the age-old adage: It matters not who scores, but that everyone is involved! Curry’s T*E*A*M effort stands out!
Will you be inclusive when working with others to make success a T*E*A*M effort?
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