Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.
VIDEO: Relive Stephen Curry’s spectacular playoff run
> Time magazine editors choose a Person of the Year based on who they think most influenced the news — for better or worse — during that calendar year. Going by that criteria, who should be the NBA’s Person of the Year for 2015?
Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: As much as I’d like to make a case here for DeAndre Jordan – his moratorium week was the essence of the NBA as crazy business – I’ve got to go with Steph Curry, as I imagine 99.5 percent of most folks would. Best player on the year’s best team (not just 2014-15 but 2015 calendar year). Swell personality and role model, yada yada. And the guy most responsible for the league’s current drift to the perimeter and the game’s devolution, in my view, to simple math (3>2, woo hoo!).
Fran Blinebury, NBA.com: Sometimes the obvious answer is the right one. It’s been Stephen Curry’s year as he led the Warriors in changing the perception of how a championship team can be constructed and can play the game. He’s been a model citizen, a joy to watch and keeps raising the bar of what we expect. And from the ridiculous negative side, according to grumpy Mark Jackson, Curry has every kid on every playground jacking up long 3-pointers and has ruined the game forever. That’s called having influence.
Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: Joe Lacob. Much more than the owner of the team that won the title, he was the driving force behind a championship and the transformation of the image of an organization — and sort of his own. On the business side, the Warriors moved closer to finalizing plans for an arena in San Francisco, a massive financial plan for the team and, therefore, the league. On the basketball side, Lacob’s decision to hire unproven Steve Kerr as coach helped deliver a championship in June in Kerr’s first season, and this was after years of his active hand shaping the roster and deftly managing the salary cap. General manager Bob Myers gets a lot of the credit, as evidenced by peers voting him Executive of the Year, and Lacob also hired Myers as a relative newcomer for that job. A lot of Warriors fans booed Lacob in 2012 during the ceremony to retire Chris Mullin’s jersey, a move that was foolish even at the time, let alone with the perspective of time. Let’s guess that wouldn’t be the reaction after the 2015 in the Bay Area.
Shaun Powell, NBA.com: Easy: Steph Curry. He was the face of the NBA during the calendar year of 2015, given how he won MVP, then a title, then was the key figure in the Warriors’ record start to this season. It’s Curry, and not LeBron James, who drives the NBA at the moment, as the glamour player on the league’s glamour team.
John Schuhmann, NBA.com: The contrarian in me is tempted to say Draymond Green, because he best embodies the reasons (defense, ball movement) the Warriors have gone 87-16 in 2015. But in regard to “news,” Green didn’t move the needle like Stephen Curry. Curry was the MVP, the biggest reason people tuned in to watch the Warriors, and the father of the biggest NBA press conference sensation since Allen Iverson‘s “practice” rant.
Sekou Smith, NBA.com: Champion. MVP. Game changer. Stephen Curry earns my vote as the NBA’s Person of the Year for 2015 for all of the ways he’s influenced the game, on and off the court. He and the Warriors crashed a championship party that could have alternated between San Antonio and wherever LeBron James played for the foreseeable future. He crashed the MVP party that could have alternated between James and Kevin Durant for the foreseeable future. And his story, work ethic and sterling results have served to inspire the masses of youngsters who want to emulate his style while also infuriating many of his predecessors who cannot believe he’s conquering the basketball world the way he has. You can’t make up a story like Steph’s.
Ian Thomsen, NBA.com: MVP Steph Curry brought a new outlook of optimism and creativity to the NBA by leading his Warriors to the championship as well as their ensuing 24-0 start. Based on his size, creative skills and positive energy, fans around the world can relate to Curry more so than to any NBA champion before.
Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blog: Steph Curry is the first name that comes to mind. After all, he won an MVP and an NBA championship in 2015. But if we’re going by the person who most influenced the news, how about Gregg Popovich? Not only were the Spurs one of the NBA’s better teams in 2015, but the championship Warriors were led by Steve Kerr, who played for Pop for years. Also, 2015 began with the Atlanta Hawks reeling off 19 consecutive wins, and they were led by longtime Pop acolyte Mike Budenholzer. And over the summer, Pop managed to successfully recruit LaMarcus Aldridge to join the Spurs, and made news by appointing Becky Hammon to coach the Spurs summer league team, and they won a title. It’s Pop’s NBA, we’re just living in it.