Stephen Curry was the Finals MVP and won his NBA title for the fourth time in his career
With Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry winning his fourth NBA title and winning the Bill Russell trophy for the first time as a Finals MVP, how far is he among the highest scorers of all time?
The long-awaited Finals MVP award filled a gap in Curry’s resume. He has twice been named a regular-season MVP, has been named eight times in the All-NBA team (four of them in the starting lineup), and has become the all-time leading three-point scorer in NBA history.
When ESPN placed fourth among Curry Guardians in the standings in 2016, the Warriors were unanimously named MVP of the season for helping the Warriors win a staggering 73 games, putting Isiah Thomas ahead of the controversy.
After all that Curry has achieved since then, that is unquestionable. When we recently ranked the 76 best players in NBA history, Curry finished third among the scorers, behind Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson.
With another title campaign in place, it’s time to review where Curry is among the greats of all time.
He won Curry’s rankings by title
Along with this 2016 ranking, I showed an additional tournament rating as it uses the Basketball-Reference.com website to combine victories – calculated from the beginning of NBA history – and individual prizes to determine how many tournaments a player would win. with another medium-sized team throughout his career, tailored to the quality of the league.
As we are looking at the performance of the players and not particularly the results of the teams, winning another title does not affect Curry’s score. The final MVP is also not taken into account in the calculations.
However, Curry’s 0.18 plus this year’s title brings him to 1.85 for his career, a good 17th for all time. It was Curry who finished in our final standings (16th), although he would certainly rise after this post-season campaign.
If that sounds too much like it, remember that Curry is still building his legacy. He is likely to overtake Dirk Nowitzki (1.9) next season and has a good chance of making it into the top 10 when he finishes.
Curry is already in the top 15 in additional playoff tournaments based on prize votes. He’s worse in the regular season, partly because he hasn’t played that much time compared to the big ones of all time. Of the 16 players ahead of Curry, 14 played at least 34,500 minutes in the regular season (including Julio Erving’s ABA career). Curry stands at 28,361 and counts.
Quiet among the Top 3 scorers
A metric that combines votes with titles matches the top three scorers of all time, and they are all able to be recognized with a single name: Magic, Oscar and Steph.
Aside from combinator Jerry West, no other point guard has reached the same level as these three MVPs. They all achieved post-season success in a way that the point guard (James Harden, Steve Nash and Russell Westbrook) who won the other MVP could not match.
At one point, supporters of John Stockton or Chris Paul Thomas could face Curry depending on how long they lasted. That was denied by Curry, who continues to play at a high level in his mid-30s. Although Paul and Stockton have more than 11 appearances in the NBA, Curry has more than Thomas (five) and has tied the Pistons’ legend in the 1990 MVPs in the Finals.
The case of Steph and Oscar
At this point, the best comparison to Curry’s stature as a top team is Robertson, who won only one MVP (1963-64), but Curry almost equaled in MVP statistics, having been nine times in the top five, simply. three Curry.
Considering all the attention to Curry’s never winning the Final MVP, it’s funny that Robertson was one of his two previous players in our top 76 without that achievement.
The final MVP has not been so decisive with Robertson, as his Cincinnati Royals never won a title in his time, often surpassing Russell’s Celtics dynasty. When Robertson won a title with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1971, he was second to the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and was named MVP of the Finals.
The additional titles bring an interesting contrast between Curry and Robertson. Oscar has a big advantage in the regular season caps, adding to his long career (Robertson’s 43,886 minutes put him 22nd all-time), and Curry dominates the playoffs thanks to his performance in Golden State’s long playoffs.
The sum of the two players is almost the same, and Curry (1.85) has overtaken Robertson (1.82) after that postseason. Although Robertson finished ninth in our top 76 rankings — two places higher than in 2016, perhaps because Westbrook joined that two-player team because of the attention he received in his average triple-pair — I suspect Curry will finish. the next time we vote in front of him again.
Can Steph Magic be reached?
ESPN’s Kendrick Perkins began the debate last month by saying that Curry, who was named MVP of the Finals, would become the highest scorer in NBA history, beating Johnson.
For additional titles, this is yet to be discussed. Despite being forced to retire at the age of 31 when he was diagnosed with HIV, returning to 32 games in 1995-96, Johnson still has a big advantage over Curry. An additional 2.43 championships put him in eighth place in the all-time standings.
Curry might catch up with Johnson, but it’s not necessarily likely. Curry would need another four seasons like 2021-22 to close the gap, which would mean playing at the All-NBA level until the age of 38. More realistically, Curry should do a few more seasons like this, and continue to add value at a lower level by playing well in his 40s.
In addition to his health, Curry’s additional titles will largely depend on how long he wants to continue playing, as his shooting will continue to be important even if his physical skills decline.
However, Johnson is the only point that Curry cannot match in terms of maximum value. Johnson was a three-time MVP and a four-time Finals MVP with the Lakers in five wins in the 1980s. That success, and perhaps a bonus of years that Johnson couldn’t play, left him fourth in the standings at 76. the best. That’s probably bigger than Curry will ever get.
However, Curry has a habit of proving us wrong – this time he will take the Warriors to another title in the lottery after two years.