At this point, it's no secret that Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic is the 2021 NBA MVP. Due to his incredible play, and the injuries that have ravaged other candidates, he is a sure-fire lock to win the award.
Still, not everyone is sold on his campaign, and there are many who would rather see Steph Curry get MVP honors instead.
Even with the movement quickly growing, however, he is unlikely to win it. Damian Lillard recently explained why to reporters:
Obviously, there has to be a conversation about him being in the conversation. But I don’t think he wins it. At the eight seed, I just don’t see how that works. Last year, it was people like (ESPN’s) Stephen A. (Smith saying) ‘Man, I love what Dame is doing but he can’t be the MVP because they’re the eighth seed.’
You know what I’m saying? But last year, I averaged 30 points and eight assists on 46 (percent) from the field, 40 from the three-point line and 90 from free throw (it was actually 88.8). But last year, they’re like, ‘Man, we can’t consider him an MVP because they’re the eighth seed.’ And now it’s like it’s ok. For me, that’s the way that I’m looking at it. (Curry) is definitely in the conversation. There’s no way that you don’t have him in the conversation.
Dame is exactly right, and he seems to be speaking from experience here.
At the end of the day, while a strong case can be made for both Steph and Jokic, it's the Warriors' lackluster record that really hurts Curry's chances.
Never before has a team with such a poor record house the NBA's MVP, and that's unlikely to change. It is bad news for Steph, who will have to watch as Jokic lifts the trophy in a few weeks.
But, who knows, maybe the 2x MVP will end up winning his third before it's all said and done.