Curry unconcerned with MVP race: 'I don't need that kind of validation'
When you're the reigning back-to-back NBA MVP like Stephen Curry, you're afforded some leeway when saying that not being involved in the discussion for a third year in a row isn't a big deal.
Simply put, the Golden State Warriors star has bigger fish to fry than worrying about going for the MVP hat trick, especially after a season which was essentially a two-player race for the award anyway.
"You look at those guys (James Harden and Russell Westbrook), numbers-wise, they had separated themselves just on sheer numbers and stats and the wow factor of what they’re doing, and they deserve that attention because they all had amazing seasons," Curry told ESPN's Chris Haynes.
"So, it obviously helps me to say that having won a couple times, but at the end of the day, I don’t need that kind of validation to know what my role is on the team, and how I can help my team win, and being in a situation where we’re playing for championships now, so that’s the biggest thing.”
The Chef's scoring took a dip in 2016-17, dropping from 30.1 points to 25.3 in 33.4 minutes per game. He shot 3.6 percentage points worse from the field and 4.3 percent points worse from 3-point range, although both numbers were still highly respectable (46.8 percent and 41.1 percent, respectively).
While not the only reason, the Warriors signing Kevin Durant - a former MVP in his own right - certainly played a part in Curry's production going down ever so slightly, and why it was so difficult to truly place either player in the race, as they almost cancelled each other out.
The last player to win three consecutive MVPs was Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics from 1984-1986. LeBron James - who Curry will soon battle in the Finals when the Warriors host the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 Thursday - won four in five years (2009-10, 2012-13), but never three straight.