Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry is inexplicably having to defend himself after winning the NBA Most Valuable Player award for the second straight season, despite securing the honor in a historic unanimous vote this year.
"But when you talk about most 'valuable' then you can have a different conversation, so, take nothing away from him, he’s definitely deserving of that award, for sure," James said.
On Friday, reporters asked Curry for a response to James' comments, and he had the perfect answer, per ESPN.com (via Keith Britton of 92.3 The Fan):
James' comments mark the latest in what has been a two-year fight for Curry. A number of former NBA players have attempted to discredit his and the Warriors' accomplishments, including their NBA Finals victory in 2015.
On Tuesday, former NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady said during an appearance on ESPN's The Jump (via B/R's Mike Freeman) that Curry's unanimous MVP win was a sign of "how watered down our league is."
Curry has acknowledged his frustration with some of the criticism, telling Marcus Thompson and Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group (via ESPN.com) in February that it was "starting to get a little annoying just because it's kind of unwarranted from across the board."
James didn't seem to be going out of his way to take a shot at Curry. Instead, it rather seemed to be a gripe over a system in which no one seems to know what the word "valuable" means.
That said, it's still unusual that he felt the need to say Curry "deserved" the award. Anyone who watched the 28-year-old sharpshooter play this season knew so already.
The Warriors have been the NBA's best team for the last two years, winning the championship last year and a league-record 73 games during this past regular season. The rest of the basketball world can take shots at Curry and the Warriors as they sit just eight wins away from their second straight title, but when you come at the king, you better not miss.