LeBron James cleaned up at the ESPYS. He won many of the top awards: Best male athlete, best championship performance, best team, and best moment.
What’s intriguing is that he won best NBA player. On the surface it might seem like an obvious choice. The Cavs won the NBA title, LeBron won the Finals MVP and he’s picking up the city of Cleveland and putting everyone on his shoulders. However, does that one series/story-line make him more deserving of the award than Steph Curry?
Curry won the MVP award last season and was considered by many the best player in the league. He followed that up with a 73 win regular season, breaking his own record of most three pointers in a season, another MVP award and a run to the Finals. His team was up 3-1 in that Finals despite the fact that Curry didn’t play particularly well. But does that now mean that LeBron has surpassed Curry once again? Or did LeBron never lose his crown?
Last regular season, Curry’s numbers were outrageous. He averaged 30.1 points, 6.7 assists and 5.4 rebounds. He shot over 50% from the field and 45% from the three point line. He also led the NBA in free throw percentage at nearly 91%. LeBron’s stats were impressive but in a different way. He put up 25.3 point per game, which ranks 5th. He averaged 6.8 assists and 7.4 boards. He also had a higher shooting percentage than Curry but a much lower three point percentage.
There’s no doubt that as a story-line, LeBron coming home and winning a title for his city is significant. But what if they lost in the Finals? What if the Warriors didn’t blow a 3-1 lead? This story would have a completely different narrative.
Who do you think is the best player in the NBA?