Most Valuable Player can be interpreted a few ways. Some feel the MVP should be awarded to the league’s best player (LeBron James). Others feel it should be awarded to the best player on the best team for that season should they have a player of that caliber (Stephen Curry). And then others prefer to award it to the best player on a playoff team in which he had to carry the most due to certain circumstances (James Harden).
Regardless of your interpretation, the player that wins the award is usually one of the game’s best and that was the case this year with Stephen Curry. But what isn’t always the case is the league MVP reaching the NBA Finals, and what’s even more rare is them squaring off against a former MVP in the matchup.
This season we have both. So as a result, I’ve decided to go back the last quarter-century and see how many times we’ve had the pleasure of seeing an NBA Finals match where the current MVP met a former MVP.
Eight NBA All-Star appearances. Two NBA MVP’s. 10,335 career assists – good for third all-time. Future Hall-of-Fame inductee.
Steve Nash had an excellent NBA career. There’s no disputing that. His eight-year run in Phoenix was incredible – 16.3 points, 10.9 assists, 51% field goals, 43.7% 3-point field goals, 91.2% free throws, three trips to the Western Conference Finals.
What he and Mike D’Antoni did was revolutionary. And let’s be honest, if it wasn’t for Robert Horry body-checking Nash into the scorer’s table that led to a bench clearing altercation, both he and D’Antoni would have at least one NBA championship under their belt.
But there’s one thing I absolutely cannot stand in today’s world. Everybody lives in the moment.