Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry became the first unanimous NBA Most Valuable Player on Tuesday, winning the award for a second straight season.
Curry swept all 131 first-place votes, including 130 from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters and one from the Kia MVP fan vote. San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard was second in the voting, followed by Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James.
A news conference announcing the award is scheduled for 5 p.m. ET in Oakland, California. The Warriors returned there after Monday’s Game 4 win in Portland, in which Curry had 40 points, 17 coming in overtime.
Curry has been an overwhelming favorite to repeat as league MVP since the Warriors’ record-setting start to the season, when they went 24-0 — passing the previous record for best start to a season by nine wins — en route to a 73-9 mark that eclipsed the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls’ 72-10 record as the winningest single season in NBA history.
Shaquille O’Neal and James fell one vote shy of unanimous selection in 2000 and 2013, respectively. Curry joins Tom Brady (2010 NFL MVP) and Wayne Gretzky (1982 Hart Trophy winner) as the only unanimous MVP’s in their respective leagues. There have been 17 unanimous MVPs in MLB history, the most recent being Bryce Harper as NL MVP last season.
Curry is the first player in league history at any position to average 30 points per game in less than 35 minutes per game over a full season.
Curry also shattered his single-season NBA record for made 3-pointers with 402 — his previous record was 286 last season — while joining Steve Nash and his coach, Steve Kerr, as the only players in league history to shoot at least 50 percent from the floor, 45 percent from 3-point range and 90 percent from the line in a single season.
The 28-year-old is the 11th player to win back-to-back MVP awards in the NBA’s 70-season existence. James was the last to achieve that feat with the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013.