Over the past 10 years of watching the NBA Finals, the winning team usually becomes very emotional when the clock hits zero.
For this writer, there have been only two emotional moments that I felt were very special in those 10 years. The first was LeBron James falling to the floor in tears after delivering the Cleveland Cavaliers their first championship in 2016. That was a special moment for James, as he was able to finally deliver his promise of winning a championship for his hometown.
The other special moment was on June 16, 2022, when before the clock even hit zero, Stephen Curry bent down and started crying tears of joy.
For one, this was the first time many have openly seen Curry so emotional. He had won three championships previous to this, but the emotions felt a little more impactful this time around. The past two seasons have been rough for the Warriors after having the worst record in the league at one point and dealing with injuries to their star players as well.
For Curry, one of the things the media continued to talk about coming into this Finals appearance was could he shoulder the load and finally become a Finals MVP, and he did just that.
He came out firing in Game 1 and scored 21 points in the first quarter. A few games later, and possibly having to face going down 3-1 in the series to the Celtics, Curry went to Boston and put on one of the best performances we’ve seen from him in the NBA Finals, scoring 43 points to lead the Warriors to victory and tie the series 2-2.
In Game 6, Curry went on a three-point barrage in the third quarter to keep the Celtics at bay.
Coming into this series, and looking over the past few years, Curry heard the noise of people saying he couldn’t lead the Warriors to a championship as “the guy.” His first championship came with help from the Cleveland Cavaliers being down two of their best three players, and the next two came from the help of former NBA MVP, four-time scoring champ, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and 11-time All-Star Kevin Durant.
The media is quick to downplay your legacy if you don’t have the hardware to show for it, and a Finals MVP is what they claim Curry was missing. Now he has it, and they can’t say a thing.
Curry is now in the history books and is only the fifth player to win multiple NBA MVPs, a Finals MVP, and a scoring title in his career, joining the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Wilt Chamberlain.
After the game, Curry said in his interview “What they gonna say now?”
Well, it looks like now they can’t say a thing.