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It took Stephen Curry four NBA championships and six Finals appearances to win his first Finals MVP award, but that just made it all the sweeter.
The Golden State Warriors star was named MVP of the 2022 NBA Finals after leading a six-game series win over the Boston Celtics, his first time winning the award. The Warriors won the series-clinching Game 6 103-90.
As expected, Curry was a unanimous selection among the 11 voting media members, per the NBA.
Curry finished the game with 34 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, to cap a series in which he averaged 31.2 points, six rebounds and five assists while shooting 43.7% from 3-point range. The Warriors fell behind early in Game 6, then took such firm control that Curry was signaling for his ring midway through the third quarter.
One quarter later, it was Curry putting the Celtics to bed.
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) June 17, 2022
Curry was also the winner of the first Magic Johnson Western Conference finals MVP and received All-NBA Second Team honors this season, completing a return to the NBA mountaintop.
Stephen Curry enters exclusive club with Finals MVP
Here's a quick list of NBA players have won four rings, two MVPs and one Finals MVP, as Curry has now done:
Pretty good group.
Finals MVP was the 1 thing missing from Stephen Curry's resume
You didn't need Curry to win a Finals MVP to know he's an all-time great player, but the honor takes away just about the only argument left against him as an inner-circle Hall of Famer.
Entering the Finals, Curry already had three championships, two regular season MVP awards, an All-Star Game MVP, eight All-Star nods, four All-NBA First Team nods, two scoring titles and the all-time NBA lead in 3-pointers. Finals MVP had eluded him, however.
Plenty of people believed Curry should have won the award in the Warriors' first championship of his tenure in the 2015 Finals, having led the team in scoring (156) by more than 50 points while chipping in a team-leading 38 assists. The voters opted to go with Andre Iguodala instead, implicitly ruling the veteran's defense against James (who received four of 15 votes) to have been more valuable.
The next two Warriors championships went to a very deserving Kevin Durant, and therein lay the rub for Curry's legacy. Curry might have been the long-term core of the Warriors' glory days, but Durant shone brighter at the team's apex.
There was no Durant on the floor on Thursday, though. It was just Curry, making backbreaking 3-pointers as the Warriors pulled away from an overmatched Celtics team. This championship, with all its struggles, belonged to Curry.