In the run-up to today’s announcement that Stephen Curry won this year’s MVP award, there was a lot of chatter to the effect that James Harden was the more likely choice. As good as Harden was this season, the plain fact is that he simply did not have the impact on his team that Curry did. The Warriors leapt up the standings–by a wide and impressive margin over last season–in large part because Curry raised his already excellent game to a whole new level. And frankly, as far as optics influence this sort of thing, Curry almost certainly had the award won the moment he threw a flattened refrigerator box underneath Chris “Electric Boogaloo” Paul on national television in their last meeting of the season.
Out of a season of highlight reel stuff, that play will remain seared into people’s minds for decades–and it probably convinced everyone that Curry is the man of the year.