Posts Tagged With: Stephen Curry

MVP Race: Steph or James?

The other day, a co-worker asked me who I think is the MVP between Golden State Warriors point guard Steph Curry and Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden. He’s a Rockets fan, so naturally, he said Harden. I disagreed and chose Curry because I felt he’s more consistent (and I like him more as a player, 99 percent of the reason I chose him). My co-worker raised some good points in favor of the bearded shooter, but I couldn’t bring myself to concede, which got me thinking: without any bias, which one is more MVP-worthy?

After further thinking and taking their roles on the court into consideration, I have to stick with Steph for five reasons:

1. The obvious — check the record. The Warriors are currently first in the Pacific Division with a 34-6 record and only one home loss. Golden State also went on a 16-game win streak in November and December. The Rockets, however, are 29-14 with a 15-7 home record and third in the Southwestern Division. Basketball is a team sport, so you can’t attribute the Warriors’ better record to just Curry like you can’t say Harden does it all by himself. However, you have to take each team’s wins and losses into consideration. Edge: Curry.

2. Scoring: Harden has led the last 12 of 18 games in scoring, averaging 27.2 points per game on the season compared to Curry, who has only led the last seven of 17 in scoring and averages 23.2. But, Curry’s field goal percentage is better on the season at 50.1 percent, with Harden not too far behind at 45.2 percent. Curry also has Harden beat in three-point field goal percentage, 40.2 percent to 38.3 percent. So, although Harden scores more, Curry is more accurate. Edge: Curry.

3. Assists: In the last 10 games, Harden is averaging seven assists per game and has a game-high in assists in the last 10 of 18 games. Steph has dished out 9.2 dimes in the last 10 games and led in assists in 10 of the last 17 games. It also helps Curry is a point guard, so naturally, he knows how to distribute the ball and get it where it needs to go. Edge: Curry.

4. People’s Choice: Curry leads the starting lineups for the 2015 NBA All Star Game in votes with 1,513,324. Harden finished fifth overall, but may earn a starting spot at the two after news of Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant’s torn rotator cuff. Edge: Curry.

5. Four just seemed like an odd number to end with, so I’ve decided to think of another qualification (five is a much more absolute number). Going back to the teams, as a whole, the Warriors have a better chance of going further come playoff time. In the past, Golden State has made some deep runs in the playoffs for the past few years and looks as though this could be the year for the team to go all the way. Houston has had its struggles and even with the addition of Josh Smith, the team will have stiff competition being in the Western Conference. Because, he has a better chance of getting ring number one first… Edge: Curry.

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Positive Players: Celebrating Philanthropy among Athletes

On Wednesday night, a young man by the name of Joshua Jones passed away after a battle with brain cancer.

He was first introduced to the media after the Los Angeles Dodgers’ center fielder Matt Kemp gave him a signed ball, the jersey Kemp was wearing and a pair of shoes right off of Kemp’s feet. From that point on, the two became friends and when Jones died, Kemp took it hard.

At this moment, Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry is in Tanzania, hanging bed nets in huts as part of the anti-malaria program Nothing But Nets. He was away from his wife for their second anniversary and one-year-old daughter to go to Africa and help out people living in unimaginable conditions.

No one forced either of these men to do what they did, but they did it anyway.

Many times athletes are highlighted in the media for getting into legal trouble, leaving a party with a car full of women or trashing hotel rooms. Too often the positive actions are ignored or brushed over.

For the athletes, it is okay because they’re not doing it for public attention. However, as a sports fan, it is nice to see good behavior highlighted instead of the bad always being plastered across various media outlets,

This summer, when they could be practicing their game and preparing for their own season, players like Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Nick Young, Rajon Rondo and even younger players like Ray McCallum, Trey Burke and Andre Drummond will be hosting summer basketball  camps for kids. These camps help kids to learn the fundamentals of basketball while having fun with the NBA players they idolize.

The only time people ever hear about these players doing this is when children are solicited to register for the camps. No one really pays attention to players who maintain clean records and invest more in philanthropy than partying. Why is that?

This is definitely something that needs to be changed. When younger viewers watch television and all they see are the athletes who get in trouble, what message does that send to them?

Recently, Johnny Manziel and Aaron Rodriguez have been in the news for doing things that are not considered positive. However, very few know about programs like Nothing But Nets or even NBA Cares. Players who have founded and/or participate in programs dedicated to helping others should be highlighted.

By doing this, it will show kids who look up to these men that you can be an athlete and still be positive. Spending more time helping others who may not have as much as you is more rewarding than buying the latest basketball sneakers or having Dr. Dre’s newest pair of headphones.

Though it may not mean much, I applaud each of the above mentioned men and any other athletes out there using their celebrity status to help improve the lives of others by donating their money and/or time. Hopefully, one day, these will be the actions that we, as a society, focus on and celebrate more.

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