Curry MVP again after first-ever unanimous vote

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry with his second consecutive MVP trophy. His reaction was equal parts honest and humble:"To be the first unanimous MVP award winner is something I don't even know how to put into words."
Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry with his second consecutive MVP trophy. His reaction was equal parts honest and humble:"To be the first unanimous MVP award winner is something I don't even know how to put into words." PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

NEW YORK • Golden State superstar Stephen Curry was named the National Basketball Association's (NBA's) Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the second straight year on Tuesday, becoming the first unanimous winner in the award's 61-year history after a record-breaking contribution to the Warriors' historic season.

Curry, who returned from injury on Monday to score 40 points in Golden State's overtime win over the Portland Trail Blazers, won in a landslide, sweeping all 131 first-place votes to earn 1,310 points, a statement said.

It is the first time in the NBA's history that a player has been the blanket first pick for the award, the league said. No player, not even Michael Jordan in his prime, has been a unanimous choice for MVP.

"I looked at the list of everybody who's won an MVP award, all legends," Curry said on Tuesday.

"To be the first unanimous MVP award winner is something I don't even know how to put into words."

The MVP award is chosen by a panel of 130 sportswriters and broadcasters in the United States and Canada, with one vote going to fans.

Under a preferential voting system, players receive 10 points for a first-choice vote, seven points for each second-place vote, five points for third, three points for fourth and one point for fifth.

San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard was a distant second with 634 points while the Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James was third with 631 points.

The Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook (486 points) and Kevin Durant (147) rounded out the top five.

Curry is the 11th person to win back-to-back MVP awards and joins an illustrious club that includes the likes of James, Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.

The award caps a remarkable year for the 28-year-old, who played a starring role as Golden State compiled a 73-9 record, surpassing the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls' 72-win campaign for the most victories in the regular season.

His personal statistics for the season rewrote the record books and, for many, have helped redefine a new era in basketball.

He shattered his own record for most three-pointers, which had stood at 286, with 402. He also led the NBA scoring chart with an average 30.1 points per game and extended his own record for scoring at least one three-pointer in consecutive games to 152.

"It was a year of really just aiming to get better and to achieve what people might not have thought we deserved last year," Curry said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 12, 2016, with the headline 'Curry MVP again after first-ever unanimous vote'. Print Edition | Subscribe