The 2015 NBA finals were high stakes for the Golden State Warriors. The LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers were the only remaining hurdle between them and the first championship in the Bay in 40 years.
While the series went as expected, the 2015 NBA finals MVP vote stole the show. Warriors star Stephen Curry or Cleveland’s James were fan-favorites to win the MVP. Instead, the award deservedly landed in the hands of Andre Iguodala.
The 2015 NBA Finals was a perfect ending for the Warriors
The 2014-15 season was the first chapter in what became the Warriors juggernaut. Under first-time NBA coach Steve Kerr, the team took off to a 10-2 run — the best start in franchise history. Some of the Warriors players even set individual records.
For his part, Curry won the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award and broke his record for three-pointers with 286. Klay Thompson, the other half of the Splash Brothers, broke the NBA record for points scored in a quarter with 37 points and finished the game with a career-high 52 points. Warriors coach Kerr sealed the deal by setting the record for most wins (63) by a rookie head coach in the NBA.
The Cleveland Cavaliers had some exciting changes, too. They traded for forwards James and Kevin Love. Together with Kyrie Irving, the new signings marked the dawn of a new era of the big three in Cleveland.
However, the Cavs didn’t have a fairy-tale season like the Warriors. They lost multiple key players to injuries but still managed to scrap out a 53-29 record. Cleveland began the playoffs with a sweep of the Boston Celtics. Then, they saw off the Chicago Bulls in six games and finally swept top-seeded Atlanta Hawks in the conference finals.
Despite a spirited fight by James, the Warriors only needed six games to down the Cavaliers and took the crown. Golden State’s offense was too much for the Cavaliers. Sixth man Iguodala played stellar defense against James dimming any chances of a championship for the Cavaliers.
The finals winner was undeniable; the finals MVP was not!
Curry had a great finals series, putting up even better numbers than he did in the regular season. James’ put the Cavaliers on his back and willed them into winning two games in the series. Consequently, fans expected one of the two superstars to take the crown for the finals MVP.
As it turned out, voters had different ideas. Iguodala’s excellent plays were noticed by them, and he earned the title.
The most astonishing part was not Iguodala winning, but the fact that Curry did not receive any votes. According to the results released by the NBA, Iguodala had seven votes, James ranked second with four votes, and Curry received none. This must’ve rubbed the Warriors’ loyal fans the wrong way.
Nick Wright’s version of the NBA finals MVP vote
Four years down the line, FS1’s First and First co-host Nick Wright divulged what was a “widely reported” story on what happened during the 2015 NBA finals MVP voting. In his story, Wright said the votes were split between Iguodala and James — each with four — and Curry had three votes.
He said the voters didn’t want to give the MVP title to LeBron because he was on the losing team. They also couldn’t have a co-MVP. So, the Warriors voters agreed to give all of their votes to Iguodala, who was then named the MVP.
NBA analysts were quick to refute Wright
Tim Frank of the NBA was the first to share his sentiments. In a tweet, he said. “This never happened. No media member, including any voter, was privy to those results until they were announced on the court.”
Sam Amick and Marc J. Spears, both voters, termed Wright’s story as laughable, further saying there is no group collaboration and there’s no rule that a losing player can’t win the MVP. Eventually, Wright had to swallow the bitter pill. He admitted he was wrong and also offered an apology.