There is perhaps no better cipher for Steph Curry than the Athletic's Marcus Thompson II. He literally wrote the book on the two-time MVP, so it's no wonder he got Steph to take a break from a furious amount of texting to talk about this year's MVP race and why he's unlikely to capture his third Maurice Podoloff Trophy.
“There is no narrative,” Curry tells the Athletic scribe after Golden State's Tuesday night victory over the Thunder. “Every year, there are a few players in the mix. This year, it’s like five deep. If you’re not in that conversation …” Thompson interjects to ask if it bothers him. We'll let the reporter describe the context behind Curry's answer:
“I don’t care,” he said, seamlessly executing a shoulder shrug, smirk and eye roll simultaneously. “I just know the narrative isn’t there so I would have to go above and beyond. So, it’s whatever. I’m blessed to have three rings. I’m good.”
Curry has never been an MVP frontrunner, this year the favorites—Giannis Antetokounmpo, Anthony Davis, and LeBron James on a ho-hum Lakers squad that hasn't made the playoffs after Kobe Bryant ruptured his Achilles' tendon—are more of the same. He also wasn't a favorite in either of the consecutive seasons where he did take home the award, including the first-ever unanimous selection in 2016. His MVPs have always been a byproduct of his team's success, and Curry knows this better than anyone.
“We don’t have three rings if I don’t play the way that I played,” Curry said. “So what else can I do? It sounds stupid and cliché and, whatever, passive. Like I’m deflecting or something. But I know I’ve gotten better every year. I know that even if people don’t. I’m better. That’s all I need to know.”