CLEVELAND – Golden State star guard Stephen Curry had no problem watching teammate Kevin Durant win his second consecutive NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award after the Warriors completed a title sweep on Friday.
Curry's quite happy with the team and himself claiming a third NBA title in four seasons after beating Cleveland 108-85 Friday, leaving individual honors to fall where they might.
"Individual accolades, they're awesome and when you get to experience what that feels like, it's a validation of all the hard work that you put into it. There's a sense of pride around those things," Curry said.
"But when it comes to me looking at myself in the mirror after every game and know I gave my best effort and I can go in the locker room and look every one of my teammates in the face and have that sense of pride of what I was able to and how I help my team win a championship, that's all that matters to me."
Curry hit an NBA Finals one-game record nine 3-pointers in a game-two victory and struck for 37 in Friday's clincher, but lost out in a media vote to Durant, who struck for a playoff career-high 43 points in a game-three triumph.
"K.D. has been amazing these last two years, especially in the finals and so deserving of back-to-back finals MVPs," Curry said. "I'm going to be his biggest fan in there with what he's able to do.
What's it feel like to be a back-to-back NBA Champion?— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) June 9, 2018
Hear Steve Kerr's immediate reactions postgame 🗣️ pic.twitter.com/24NBjuvtws
"The biggest thing we appreciate in the locker room is what everybody brings to the table. We kind of unlock the greatness out of each other."
In two finals before the Warriors signed Durant, Golden State split with Cleveland and went 7-6. In two finals with the powerful forward, the Warriors are 8-1 with two titles. That might have given Durant the MVP edge.
"Does it matter? Does it?" Durant said. "We won two championships. We just won back-to-back. I don't think anybody's even worried about that type of stuff. I'm glad we came out and played a great game. We were able to finish the series off. That's the only thing that matters to us."
Warriors coach Steve Kerr rejects the notion that Curry's career is somehow lacking because he hasn't won a finals MVP award even as he enjoys three titles.
"I'm sure it would have been nice for Steph to win the MVP, but honestly, I don't think he's that disappointed," Kerr said. "One of the great things about having the talent around him is that he gets to win championships."
Kerr has seen Curry's outside shooting and Durant's size and power inside produce a formidable combination that opens opportunities for each during games.
"Steph has always been one of the most unselfish people you can be around. He's really an amazing human being," Kerr said. "The combination of incredible talent and humility, that is such a powerful force in our locker room. In many ways it sets the tone for the whole organization."
Durant sees the hard work as being true to his teammates and his love for a game that took him from suburban Washington D.C. to worldwide stardom.
"I feel indebted to the game. I feel like it saved my life," Durant said. "It changed my life. It took me out of an environment that I didn't think I'd ever be out of. I thought I was going to live in Maryland my whole life.
"To travel the world and meet different people and go to different arenas and different cities and countries around the world, I'm just forever grateful for this opportunity.
"That's why I love this game. It was able to teach me so much about life. To win a championship on top of that means a lot."AFP