'Relatable' Curry revolutionizing NBA, rewriting history books


'Relatable' Curry revolutionizing NBA, rewriting history books

OAKLAND – The one-man revolution has become basketball’s evolution. The game now has a clearly defined game within the game, which ensures it’ll never be looked at as it was for the better part of a century.

It’s all because of one man who happens to combine a voracious pursuit of greatness with a gentle façade that invites the world.

Stephen Curry is the new edition, The Revolutionary. He is rewriting basketball, as we knew it, at the rate McDonald’s throws patties on the grill. His latest revision ranks not merely as one of his most impressive but also conceivably the most extraordinary within the sport of basketball and maybe any other sport.

Curry on Tuesday was named the NBA’s MVP – unanimously. There are 131 voters, and Curry was the No. 1 choice every ballot. This is a first, and maybe a last. To understand the magnitude, scroll past the legends of the game and consider those who were denied.

Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Bill Russell. Wilt Chamberlain, Bob Pettit. LeBron James, Tim Duncan, Shaquille O’Neal.

Now consider those who won once or never at all: Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Julius Erving, Patrick Ewing, Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant.

[RELATED: Curry becomes first unanimous MVP in NBA history]

Legends all, and Curry – less heralded than all of them – now perches on a higher individual peak.

They’re all great, yet Curry has gone where they have not. Leave to Steve Nash, a two-time MVP, to create a space that only Curry occupies.

“You could say the same thing about a lot of MVPs, that they will their team to victory,” Nash said as Curry was presented with his award Tuesday. “They're leaders. They come and they're professional every day and they excel.

“But one of the things I think of when I think of Steph, is that when we look at our league and our game, you can see over a 10- or maybe 20-year period how the game has evolved and changed. But I've never seen it evolve in six months like he's shown us this year with the dexterity and ability to shoot quickly from all over the court, in any direction, the speed and range has changed the game of basketball.”

Magic changed the game, for some. Dr. J and Michael changed the game, for few. Iverson allowed “little” players to dream. Curry is changing the game for players and coaches and scouts and fans.

Curry is that rare athlete who engages many who could not care less. He is creating fans among folks who didn’t know 3-point shot from a 3-point stance. Some still don’t. But they love Steph.

“He’s identifiable; he’s relatable,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers said. “Maybe that’s his size and stature; he’s not dominating in appearance. He’s also got an easygoing way, which makes him approachable.”

That, and his many humanitarian causes, accounts for the broad appeal. Yet those within the game also are amazed by what Curry does on the court. He rarely ceases to electrify or astound.

That’s because of Curry’s mesmerizing ball-handling exploits. It’s also because of his ability to absorb punishment and bounce back up. It’s because he can score in so many fascinating ways, most notably with a 3-point shot that ignites the Warriors and their fans while demoralizing opponents and their followers.

[RELATED: Steph Curry's full MVP ceremony transcript]

That’s the revolution that has become evolution. Curry has brought a new math to basketball and suddenly everybody must recognize its advantages, beginning with the arithmetic that three is more than two.

One year after making a record 286 3-pointers, Curry this season made 402. He was the first to make more than 270, the first to surpass 280 and the only one to get acquainted with 400.

The 3-pointer has shot to the top of the list for coveted scoring ability. That’s Curry. And voters clearly acknowledged this and more on their ballots.

“I guess I’m surprised it was unanimous, but I would have been surprised if somebody voted against him,” Myers said.

“I thought it would be near unanimous,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “I thought there’d be one or two clever people out there that would make some kind of a statement. I equated it to the Baseball Hall of Fame: ‘If Babe Ruth can’t be a unanimous Hall of Fame selection, then who is?’

“People reward winning. And the fact that we won 73 (games), combined with his ridiculous statistics and overall performance and consistency, everybody got it right.”

Yes, they did. Perhaps because they sense the shift, feel the hoops winds blowing in a different direction. The future is here, and it is Curry who delivered it.

“It's a testament to his joy and love of the game and how hard he's worked,” Nash said of Curry’s MVP. “It will be interesting to see how kids are inspired by his play.”

Kevin Durant tells Serge Ibaka why Warriors would have beaten Raptors

Kevin Durant tells Serge Ibaka why Warriors would have beaten Raptors

It's always fun to hear two people talk some friendly trash to each other.

It's even better when the people involved are Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka.

On the most recent episode of "How Hungry Are You?" from Bleacher Report, the former Oklahoma City Thunder teammates had the following back-and-forth about the 2019 NBA Finals between the Warriors and Raptors:

Ibaka: "Do you think if you didn't go down, you guys would beat us?"

Durant: "For sure."

Ibaka: "Are you sure about that? Are you 100 percent, my brother? We were hot, baby ... we were hot. We were like fire. Nobody could stop us."

Durant: "I could. I was like Sub-Zero (laughing)."

Ibaka: "We may go to Game 7, but the way we were balling -- had confidence."

Durant: "Let's put it like this -- if ya'll go into a Game 7 with the two-time champs, you're not winning that game. You're not. Ya'll had to win in six, which ya'll did. But if I was out there, ya'll wouldn't have beat us at home."

Ibaka: "We almost beat you guys in five, you know that right?"

Durant: "Yeah. Game 6, ya'll almost lost anyway. Klay [Thompson] went out, and ya'll almost lost. So Game 6, we would have smacked ya'll at the crib. And then Game 7 -- I know for sure you could hear a pin drop in your locker room walking into that arena. Ya'll would have been so shook."

Ibaka: "Yeah."

Durant: "So shook."

Ibaka: "Yeah, you're right about that (laughter). But we were hot, so we the champs."

[RELATED: Steph knows he has no room for error with Dubs this season]

Awesome stuff.

Durant didn't bring up the fact that he missed the first four games of the series, while Klay and Kevon Looney were sidelined for Game 3 in Oakland.

I think we all can agree that if both teams were fully healthy from the start, Golden State wins the series in six games max.

But that's not how life works.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

Programming Note: Get ready for the 2019-20 Warriors and Kings seasons with the NBA Tip-Off Show, streaming live on the MyTeams app at 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Download MyTeams and tune in to the show by clicking here!

NBA rumors: Cavs claim ex-Warriors wing Alfonzo McKinnie off waivers


NBA rumors: Cavs claim ex-Warriors wing Alfonzo McKinnie off waivers

Alfonzo McKinnie found a new basketball home.

The Cavaliers claimed the former Warriors forward off waivers, the team announced Monday afternoon.

McKinnie -- who officially was waived by Golden State on Saturday afternoon -- will remain on a non-guaranteed contract with Cleveland.

The 27-year-old was vying to be the Dubs' starting small forward this season, but injuries in the frontcourt to Willie Cauley-Stein and Kevon Looney made him a roster casualty and Golden State opted to keep Marquese Chriss instead. 

The Warriors play in Cleveland on Feb. 1 and host the Cavs on April 8.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

Programming Note: Get ready for the 2019-20 Warriors and Kings seasons with the NBA Tip-Off Show, streaming live on the MyTeams app at 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Download MyTeams and tune in to the show by clicking here!