If Golden State Warriors star point guard Stephen Curry were to announce his retirement today, he would almost certainly go down as a first-ballot Hall of Famer. In his 12 NBA seasons, Curry has won two leagues’ Most Valuable Player awards, three NBA titles, led the league in scoring, and is going to end up obliterating Hall of Famer Ray Allen’s record for career three-pointers made. He is undoubtedly one of the most decorated superstars to ever set foot in the NBA.
Even though Curry has racked up a plethora of accolades in his distinguished NBA career there is one award that has eluded him. That being the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award. Despite winning three NBA titles, he has never been the best player in the championship series.
Kenny Thomas Says Iguodala Deserved MVP Over Curry in 2015
When Curry won his first of three NBA titles in 2015, there was a lot of controversy surrounding who should win the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award. Mainly because many people felt like LeBron James had earned the award despite a losing effort. This was due in part to the fact that the Cavaliers pushed the Warriors to six games after Cleveland lost Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love to injury. Curry started the series slowly but went on a scoring explosion in the final two games including a 37 point outburst in Game 5 which ultimately got the Warriors over the hump to win the Finals.
Ultimately, Warriors forward Andre Iguodala was awarded the Finals MVP over both Curry and LeBron in a surprising turn of events. Retired NBA forward Kenny Thomas was Iguodala’s teammate during the beginning of his career as a Philadelphia 76er. Thomas notes that he feels Iguodala deserved the Finals MVP in 2015 over Steph and he could see that he was going to be a great player from the moment he entered the NBA.
“Andre [Iguodala] had a great final that year he deserved that,” Thomas told me in an email to Heavy.com in April of 2021. “I knew he was going to be good when the Sixers drafted him. I got to play with him for a year and a half.”
Iguodala’s Defense Is What Won Him the MVP Award
Iguodala in the NBA Finals averaged 16.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 4.0 assists. His stats do not jump off the page at you and they are not supposed to, because Iguodala’s offensive production is not what earned him the MVP award but rather his defense.
LeBron was a man on a mission and appeared to be on his way to winning his third NBA title after the Cavs went up 2-1 on the Warriors in Game 3. With Golden State’s season essentially on the line on the road in Game 4, Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr made the adjustment of inserting Iguodala into the starting lineup to guard LeBron James who had been killing them all series long.
After dropping at least 40 points in each of the team’s first 3 games, LeBron was not even the Cavaliers’ leading scorer in Game 4 with Iguodala as his primary defender. Cavaliers’ center Timofey Mozgov led all scorers with 28 points as the Warriors would tie the series at 2-2 in Game 4 and never looked back winning the series in six games.