Steph Curry silences haters for good with iconic NBA Finals win

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End the fraudulent debate: Steph silences haters for good originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

BOSTON – Lock up, once and for all, perhaps the most fraudulent sports “debate” of all time. Bury it beneath eight tons of earth and never speak of it again.
Stephen Curry, in one of the most accomplished seasons of his life, got all the things he wanted Thursday night.

He got a victory, 103-90 over the Celtics in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. He won another NBA championship, his fourth. He’ll be fitted for another ring, his fourth in eight seasons. An emotional finish that left him in tears, collapsing to the floor from a combination of exhaustion and catharsis.

And, notably, an NBA Finals MVP award – his first – and something Steph undoubtedly knew was coming his way.

Upon reaching the podium in the interview room at TD Garden, Steph declined to express how gratifying it is to be voted winner of the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award. Rather, he simply placed the trophy next to the microphone, inches away from his face.

“We've got four championships,” he said. “God is great. The ability to be on this stage and play with amazing teammates against a great Boston Celtics team that gave us everything to try to get to the finish line.”

It was up to Klay Thompson, Curry’s teammate of 11 seasons, longer than anyone on the roster, to speak the words Steph had every right to say.

“I'm so happy for him to get that Finals MVP,” Thompson said. “Some bozos saying he needed it. He's pretty much established what he can do. But to see him earn that, he's one of the greatest ever and we all followed in his lead and gosh, that was awesome.”

For all these many years, as Curry was rearranging the way basketball is played on this planet, earning his way to two MVP awards and eight All-NBA teams, those bozos were scrambling for ways to diminish his work. Without meaningful logical assertions, they clung to the fact that he had not won a Finals MVP award.

Can he really be considered an all-time great if he never wins a Finals MVP?

This gross example of false reasoning is perfect for our times, but it attempted to trivialize one of the greatest careers ever assembled.

“Honestly, the whole Finals MVP thing, it's like, I mean, are we really – I guess his career has been so impeccable, and that's the only thing we can actually find,” coach Steve Kerr said. “So, it's great to check that box for him.

“But it's been really hard for me to think that that's actually been held against him.”

Not anymore. Not after these Finals. Steph not only commanded the floor with his usual élan, but he also submitted spectacular numbers: 31.2 points per game, 53.0-percent shooting from the field, including 43.7 beyond the arc.

Steph earned his way to this award, and he won it unanimously, with 11 votes – one of which was cast his former coach, Mark Jackson, an ESPN analyst.

It’s the latest in a storied six months in Steph’s professional life. This comes three weeks after he was named Western Conference Finals MVP, which came two weeks after he received his sociology degree from Davidson University, which came three months after he was named MVP of the NBA All-Star Game, which came two months after he became the league’s all-time leader in 3-point shots.

No wonder Steph surrendered to the moment as the final seconds ticked off the clock. He spotted his father, Dell, along the baseline and they shared a long embrace. He then took a couple steps toward the action, head in hands, before dropping to the floor, his eyes rolling moisture.

“These last two months of the playoffs, these last three years, this last 48 hours, every bit of it has been an emotional roller coaster on and off the floor,” Curry said. “And you're carrying all of that on a daily basis to try to realize a dream and a goal like we did tonight.

“And you get goosebumps just thinking about all those snapshots and episodes that we went through to get back here, individually, collectively.”

Curry is one of six players to win four championships, multiple MVP awards and a Finals MVP award. The others: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tim Duncan, LeBron James, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan.

And now, Steph has silenced the last rumor of a whisper of a shred of disparagement toward his career. He got the last word.