An NBA MVP vote is finally unanimous, and Steph stands alone


By Tim Reynolds - AP Sports Writer



Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry reacts after making a basket against the Portland Trail Blazers during the second half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Monday, May 9, 2016, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)


Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, right, shoots over Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum, left, during the first half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Monday, May 9, 2016, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)


Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) smiles after defeating the Atlanta Hawks in Game 4 of the second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Sunday, May 8, 2016, in Atlanta. Cleveland won 100-99 and won the best-of-seven series 4-0. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)


MIAMI (AP) — Here’s Stephen Curry’s year in a nutshell. A record 402 3-pointers, all 131 MVP first-place votes, and zero doubt.

The only intrigue surrounding the voting for this year’s NBA MVP wasn’t if the Golden State guard would win again — but if he would get every first-place vote. And he did, becoming the first unanimous winner. LeBron James was one vote from achieving that in 2013, and Shaquille O’Neal was also one vote short in the 2000 balloting.

So Curry enters a club all his own in the NBA, and a very rare club when combining the four prevalent major U.S. pro sports leagues.

Tom Brady is the only unanimous winner of The Associated Press NFL MVP award, getting that in 2010 — three years after falling one short vote of sweeping the balloting. And Wayne Gretzky got all 63 first-place votes for the NHL’s Hart Trophy in 1982, the only person in his sport to get every first-place nod.

Baseball has 17 unanimous MVP picks. The AL has 10, the last Mike Trout in 2014. In the NL, there’s been seven, most recently Bryce Harper last season.

Here’s a look at some of the more memorable MVP voting results in NBA history:

___

2015-16: Stephen Curry gets all 131 first-place votes to become the NBA’s first unanimous MVP.

2012-13: LeBron James got 120 of 121 first-place votes. The other went to Carmelo Anthony, who finished third. Kevin Durant took second, with no first-place nod.

2004-05: Steve Nash’s first of two straight MVPs comes in a close race over Shaquille O’Neal. Nash got 65 first-place votes, O’Neal 58.

2003-04: Kevin Garnett was within three votes of being the first unanimous MVP. He got 120, while Jermaine O’Neal got two (finishing third) and Peja Stojakovic got one (finishing fourth). Runner-up Tim Duncan got no first-place votes.

2001-02: Tim Duncan won without a majority of the first-place votes. He got 57 of the 126 cast, while Jason Kidd gets 45, Shaquille O’Neal gets 15, Tracy McGrady gets seven, and Kobe Bryant and Gary Payton get one apiece.

1999-2000: Shaquille O’Neal got 120 of 121 first-place votes. The other went to Allen Iverson, and he only finished seventh.

1998-99: A trio of big men emerged as the favorites, and Karl Malone got the award after pulling in 44 first-place votes — enough to narrowly edge Alonzo Mourning (36) and Tim Duncan (30).

1996-97: Michael Jordan beat Karl Malone in the NBA Finals that year, but not the MVP race. Malone got 63 first-place votes to help him edge runner-up Jordan, who got 52.

1995-96: Michael Jordan got 109 of 113 first-place votes to win in a runaway, but not a unanimous decision. Anfernee Hardaway was the first-place pick of two voters (he finished third), while Hakeem Olajuwon (fourth) and Karl Malone (seventh) got single first-place votes.

1989-90: Charles Barkley got more first-place votes than anyone else but didn’t get enough points to win. He finished second to Magic Johnson, who got 27 first-place votes. Barkley got 38, Michael Jordan (21 first-place votes) finished third — and four other players got at least one first-place nod.

1985-86: For the second straight year, Larry Bird came five votes short of sweeping the voting. He was a runaway winner with 73 first-place votes, and Dominique Wilkins got the other five.

1984-85: Larry Bird took 73 of the 78 first-place votes, the other five split between runner-up Magic Johnson (one), No. 5 Terry Cummings (two) and No. 6 Michael Jordan (two).

1982-83: Moses Malone got 69 of 75 first-place selections, the other six going to No. 2 Larry Bird (one), No. 3 Magic Johnson (two) and No. 5 Julius Erving (three).

1980-81: Julius Erving edged Larry Bird, with nine players around the league getting a vote from someone as MVP. Erving got 28 and Bird got 20.

1977-78: In a year where 14 players got an MVP vote, Bill Walton (96) nipped George Gervin (80.5) for top honors.

1975-76: One of the league’s all-time great MVP races, with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (52 first-place votes) edging runner-up Bob McAdoo (47) and third-place Dave Cowens (48) for the award. In all, 15 players got a first-place vote and 30 appeared somewhere on voters’ ballots.

1969-70: Willis Reed scored 10 fewer points per game than Jerry West, but averaged nearly 10 more rebounds and was rewarded. Reed got 61 first-place votes, West got 51 and Reed took the trophy.

1961-62: Wilt Chamberlain averaged 50.4 points, scored 100 in a single game — and didn’t win. He was second to Bill Russell, who got 51 first-place votes. Chamberlain finished second overall, but still had fewer first-place picks (nine) than Russell and even third-place finisher Oscar Robertson (13).

1957-58: Bill Russell narrowly got the MVP pick over Dolph Schayes. Russell got 33 first-place votes, Schayes — who averaged 8.3 more points than Russell, but 8.5 fewer rebounds that season — 25.

1956-57: Bob Cousy got just 36.5 percent of the vote and won anyway with 31 MVP votes. In all, 12 players got MVP votes.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry reacts after making a basket against the Portland Trail Blazers during the second half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Monday, May 9, 2016, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_110253370-223fef38c7e149f798452418ce3a4c73.jpgGolden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry reacts after making a basket against the Portland Trail Blazers during the second half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Monday, May 9, 2016, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, right, shoots over Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum, left, during the first half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Monday, May 9, 2016, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_110253370-5c0bd36b925745a8b736923d6659bfc4.jpgGolden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, right, shoots over Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum, left, during the first half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Monday, May 9, 2016, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) smiles after defeating the Atlanta Hawks in Game 4 of the second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Sunday, May 8, 2016, in Atlanta. Cleveland won 100-99 and won the best-of-seven series 4-0. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_110253370-1286ca32fea6400ea4f103e03c6f643a.jpgCleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) smiles after defeating the Atlanta Hawks in Game 4 of the second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Sunday, May 8, 2016, in Atlanta. Cleveland won 100-99 and won the best-of-seven series 4-0. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

By Tim Reynolds

AP Sports Writer

comments powered by Disqus