The NBA Finals is highly regarded as the climax of the season and the trailer for the next season. Hence it garners a lot of audience from all over the world. It is especially an important moment for the competing franchise as their hard work and strategies for the entirety of the season is put to the test. The victor becomes the one who takes full advantage of the opportunity that is presented to them.
For the players as well, winning a championship means that all of their persistence and perseverance have given them the utmost fruit. Not only that the best player in the team also gets the individual recognition as they are awarded with the NBA Finals MVP.
Ever since the NBA Finals MVP has been started, the winner has always been the player who performs the best. The first ever Finals MVP was won by Jerry West who had exceptional numbers but did not win the championship. However, the best player from the winning team has been awarded ever since.
The 2015 NBA Finals
But sometimes controversies do arise. In the 2015 Finals, the Golden State Warriors faced off against the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was the first of the 4 Finals battle between the King and Chef Curry. Although the Cavaliers were favorites, the Warriors pulled off an upset and won the Finals in 6 games. The controversial part came afterwards as Andre Iguodala got named as the Finals MVP.
While most people agree that Iguodala deserved winning the Finals MVP and neither did Stephen Curry oppose to that considering he was ecstatic by the fact that they won the NBA championship. But on having a closer look it can be said that Stephen Curry should have won the Finals MVP.
In the 2015 playoffs, Stephen Curry led the team with 28.3 points, 5 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.9 steals per game shooting 45.6% from the field and 42.2% from the 3-point line that too he played for almost 40 minutes per game. Andre Iguodala on the other hand had 10.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game, playing just 30 minutes per game.
Now since the Finals MVP is given for their performance in the Finals then let’s have a look of their finals averages. Stephen Curry in the Finals had 26 points, 5.2 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.8 steals per game on 44.5 % shooting from the field. Andre Iguodala had 16.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4 assists and 1.3 steals per game.
It is clear from the stats on who is the better player. If both of their names were covered, anyone would choose Stephen Curry. The argument that people make is that Iguodala was successful in containing LeBron James and it is more about the eye test than the statistics.
That point would have been valid if LeBron hadn’t been averaging 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds, 8.8 assists and 1.3 steals per game on 39.2% shooting from the field. That too he was doing it without having Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving by his side.
So just defending LeBron should not have been more of a reason for the NBA Finals MVP to be awarded to Andre Iguodala. Stephen Curry was the true victor of this accomplishment as he scored the points that his team needed, assisted when his team needed and defended as well.
Players and media are making arguments that Curry does not belong in the top 10 All-Time just because of the lack of Finals MVP. While he is the reason for driving the Warriors forward and the key to their dynasty, he did not get the recognition he deserved. No matter how much Iguodala says that he deserves it, it is not going to be remembered as the award that Iguodala won but the award that Curry got robbed.