What’s left to say about Stephen Curry following what was arguably the most remarkable week of the most remarkable season we’ve ever seen from the most remarkable shooter in the history of the NBA?
Yes, some folks have run out of superlatives. But not everyone.
As we publish on the afternoon of Super Tuesday and await the outcome of 11 presidential primary contests, it is worth noting that Donald J. Trump is saying that Curry has already made America Great Again. OK, he didn’t really say that. Not even Curry could get Trump to make a concession.
And then there was the mouthful that Hillary Clinton had to say about Curry, but we’ll let you watch the CineSport video below for our take on the, ahem, musings of Bill’s lovely and shapely and wrinkle-free wife.
At this point, given today’s news, Clarence Thomas might even chime in about Curry. No, really. The Supreme Court justice was asking questions Monday after a decade-long respite.
But hey, one decade is half as much as two decades, and let us not forget that it has been two decades since the Chicago Bulls ran roughshod over the NBA the way Golden State is doing right now.
That is why we are having one of those once-in-a-generation occurrences this season as Curry rewrites the record books and takes aim at making 400 3-pointers before we’ve even played a single playoff game.
If, of course, his ankles hold up.
But what’s making Curry’s latest ankle issue a little less bothersome was that he injured it Saturday night, twisting it before Russell Westbrook landed on it. That is a far different type of thing from what we used to see regularly from Curry, a series of severe ankle sprains that were so recurrent and debilitating that they played a big part in him taking a four-year, $44 million contract extension in 2012. There are four guys on his team making more money than him.
Finances aside, Curry has now broken the record for most 3-pointers in a season for three straight years,. This time he has done it with 24 games remaining. He has been averaging about five 3-pointers per game during the regular season, but since the All-Star break that number has gone up to seven — in large part from him making 10 threes against Orlando on Thursday, then tying the NBA record with a dozen in Saturday night’s epic at Oklahoma City, which ended, of course, with Curry sinking the game-winner from 38 feet.
Just in case you were wondering, that makes him 11-for-22 from beyond 30 feet this season.
This has gotten so ridiculous, Bernie Sanders is raising his hand like he tends to do 86 times per day to get in a word.
He is actually in favor of redistributing Curry’s 3-pointers among the league’s lesser players so that everyone can have their fair share regardless of their respective talents, and those who disagree with Sanders’ idea can mollify themselves after he is elected president by heading to the nearest emergency room for free treatment.
And then there is this 2016 presidential campaign classic, which certainly is relevant to all things Curry, from the only candidate clearly running for vice president.
Like John Kasich said in closing that short video: “Jeez-o-man.”
Wait a minute, someone who said “Jeez-o-man” is the voice of reason this election year? Does anybody else miss the relative tranquility of the Sarah Palin era?
Anyway, we made a habit 4 1/2 years ago when this site began publishing to do periodic MVP race updates, and that is the real reason why we are here today. Yes, we all know who the winner will be. It’s gonna be like Nixon-McGovern, but not that close.
But we do have the highly esteemed “Race for Runner-Up,” which should be jointly sponsored by Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
And with that, we move on to the rankings.
1. Stephen Curry, Warriors. Things Steph will be doing next season, courtesy of columnist Kels Dayton, who lists Curry No. 1 in his latest Most Improved Rankings: “Speaking Swahili, doing Rubik’s cubes on the bench, teaching a marine biology class, baking even better blueberry banana mini-muffins than your mom makes, playing on the PGA Tour, pitching for the Chicago White Sox, becoming a Pro Bowl punter, writing a scientific paper on the impact of gravitational waves, starring in a hit musical, solving climate change, and … draining threes from 50 feet with his left hand.” LAST EDITION: No. 1.
2. Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers. When I cast my official MVP ballot, I always make “valuable” the operative word. Not in a “Where-would-they-be-without-him?” sense, but more in the sense of how much value did he bring to his team’s success. Well, as we say good-bye to February, we have the Trail Blazers tied with the Mavericks for sixth in the West just a few months after they lost four-fifths of their starting lineup. Lillard has scored 30 or more points in seven of his last eight games and has been on a tear since the All-Star break, averaging 33.7 points, 3.5 boards, 4.8 assists, 1.5 steals and 3.8 triples. Portland has won 13 of 15, including a 32-point drubbing of the ‘Dubs. LAST EDITION: UNRANKED.
3. Russell Westbrook, Thunder. There is a special category of player in my book: A guy that I would pay good money to see play. In my journalism career, I have covered three of those guys: Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson and Curry. In the case of Westbrook, he falls just short … but he does fall into the category of “A guy who is worthy of the cost of NBA League Pass.” Think about it: Who makes you swoon in front of the telly more for the Thunder: KD? Or Russ? It’s not even close. Russ is second in the NBA right now with nine triple-doubles and will vault past Draymond Green (11) by the end of this month. LAST EDITION: No. 2.
4. Kevin Durant, Thunder. If we hold him to the standard he set two seasons ago when he was MVP and everyone was talking about his quest for 50-40-90, there are two ways of looking at it. Back then, he was scoring 32.0 ppg. This season, he is at 27.9. That season, he finished at .503 from the field, .391 from the arc and .873 from the line. This season, his percentages are .507, .396 and .897. So, he’s sort of right there. But when you are on the third- or fourth-best team in the league, and when the entire planet is genuflecting in the direction of Curry (who is in the 50-40-90 club right now at .515, .468 and .908,) secondary characters get overlooked. LAST EDITION: No. 4.
5. LeBron James, Cavs. No top-five MVP candidates list would be complete without him, except, of course, for the six previous editions of these rankings when I left him out as a personal favor to David Blatt. In this edition, he earns bonus points for being unaware of the Stephen A. Smith report Monday that Kyrie Irving is unhappy in Cleveland. SAS has an accuracy percentage somewhere around LeBron’s current shooting percentage of .505. SAS has also been to the NBA Finals more times than LeBron, and SAS has more lives than Morris the Cat, and SAS has a better endorsement deal with Oberto than LeBron does. Yes, that is a jerky assessment. LAST EDITION: UNRANKED.
NEXT FIVE: Chris Paul, Clippers, Kawhi Leonard, Spurs; Draymond Green, Warriors; DeMar DeRozan, Raptors; John Wall, Wizards.
EDITION VI: AH, THE ALL-STAR BREAK
EDITION V: THE POST-BLATT EFFECT
EDITION IV: POWERBALL MANIA
EDITION III: ON KOBE BRYANT, STEVE HARVEY and ISH SMITH
EDITION II: WHO’S VYING FOR RUNNER-UP?
EDITION I: HYPOCRISY, AND THE END OF DAILY FANTASY SPORTS?
Chris Sheridan, publisher and editor-in-chief of SheridanHoops.com, is an official MVP voter. Follow him on Twitter.