On Monday, the NBA named Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors its Most Valuable Player.
Curry had a phenomenal year, setting the league’s single-season record for three-pointers made and leading the Warriors to a 67-15 record, the best in the NBA.
The 6-3 guard, who accumulated 1,198 points, and 100 out of 130 first-place votes, finished ahead of the Houston Rockets’ James Harden, who garnered 936 points and 25 first place votes. The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Lebron James finished a distant third with 552 points, followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook (352 points) and the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis (203 points).
Curry led his team in scoring, assists, and steals, and followed Wilt Chamberlain as the only Warrior players to win the MVP; Chamberlain won his in 1959-60 when the team was located in Philadelphia. Curry finished sixth in the leagues in points, with 23.8 per game, sixth in assists, 7.7 per game, and fourth in steals, 2.04 per game. He led the league in free throw percentage, making 91.4%; he made 52 in a row from March 9 through April 4.
His new three-point record of 286 made broke his own previous record of 272 from 2012-2013; his three-point percentage of 44.3% ranked fourth in the league. He shot 48.7 percent from the field and ranked fourth in the league in three-point field goal percentage (44.3).
Curry’s plus-minus ranked first in the league; the Warriors scored 920 more points with him against other teams than they did without him. Named the NBA Western Conference Player of the Month for October/November, Curry maintained his excellence throughout the season, making a dazzling 51.7% from three-point range after the All-Star break.
Throughout the U.S. and Canada, 129 sportswriters and broadcasters fans in voting for the award; fans ranked their top five choices, and the total fan count was translated into one vote.
After the Warriors swept the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round, Curry, a religious Christian, tweeted:
Step 1 accomplished! Had to fight every night but proud of the way we stepped up. God is Great! Let’s go home and regroup. S/O to AD. Beast!
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) April 26, 2015’
Curry said earlier in 2015, “I try to use every game as an opportunity to witness. I try to do a little signal every time I make a shot as a way to preach the message in little ways that I can. Each game is an opportunity to be on a great stage and be a witness for Christ. When I step on the floor, people should know who I represent, who I believe in.”