Stephen Curry has become the first-ever unanimous MVP in NBA history. After his historic offensive season and 73 wins, the decision was an easy one for voters to award him with his second consecutive MVP trophy.
The decision was not a surprising one, given both the individual and team success that Curry experienced this season. But what may come as a surprise is where LeBron James finished. Jams finished third in MVP voting behind Curry and Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder finished fourth and fifth, espectively.
James received 40 second place votes, 48 third place votes, 34 fourth place votes and nine fifth-place votes. He averaged 25.3 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.8 assists on 52 percent shooting while leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to the No. 1 in the Eastern Conference while missing 29 games from Kyrie Irving.
KLeonard won the 2016 Defensive Player of the Year award and the Spurs had the best defensive efficiency in the NBA. He also blossomed as the number one offensive option for the Spurs averaging 21.2 points per game on 50.6 percent shooting and increased his three point percentage to 44.3 percent.
While James is likely going to feel slighted by these results, I personally agree with how things unfolded. James' focus is on the playoffs and the play of both he and the team in the regular season was uneven to say the least. There were boycotted games, inconsistent efforts, infighting and subtweets. James is still showing that he can be the best player in any given series and can elevate his play. But this is a regular season award and he isn't at the point where he can play at that level for 82 games and for a deep playoff run. That's fine, because this team is about more than individual awards.
Now, those fifth place votes have some explaining to do. But other than that, finishing in third for MVP voting seems appropriate for LeBron.