Stephen Curry named 2023-24 Kia NBA Clutch Player of the Year

Stephen Curry named 2023-24 Kia NBA Clutch Player of the Year

 Stephen Curry finished 1st in points (189), made field goals (59) and made 3-pointers (32) in the clutch this season.

Golden State’s Stephen Curry led the league in clutch scoring this season, and now he’s got another trophy to add to his collection.

Curry was announced Thursday night as the 2023-24 Kia NBA Clutch Player of the Year, adding that award to a resume that includes two MVPs, an All-Star Game MVP, an NBA Finals MVP, a Western Conference finals MVP and nine All-NBA selections.

The award is named for Jerry West, someone Curry knows well and someone who once was a consultant for the Warriors.

“When you see him in person you realize how much basketball matters to him, how competitive he is, how much he wants to win no matter what seat he’s in,” Curry said of West on the TNT telecast where the award was announced. “And that rubbed off on our organization during that time. … Any time Jerry West says something, you’re going to listen.”

Curry was one of three finalists, along with Chicago’s DeMar DeRozan and Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Curry led the league in clutch scoring — defined as points in the last 5 minutes of fourth quarters or in overtime, with the score differential in the game being five points or less — with 189, seven more than DeRozan. Gilgeous-Alexander had 112 points in those “clutch” moments, seventh-most in the league.

The voting was close, with Curry getting 45 first-place votes and finishing with 298 points. DeRozan got 34 first-place votes and had 272 points in the balloting, with players earning five points for a first-place vote, three for second place and one for third place. Gilgeous-Alexander had 160 points.

Curry — a four-time champion — said he’s been watching the playoffs, and thinking ahead to what Golden State needs to do before next season. The Warriors were eliminated from postseason consideration by losing in this year’s Play-In Tournament.

“We’re not that far off, even having tried to stay at this level and at this peak for so long,” said Curry, who will play for the U.S. at the Paris Olympics this summer. “There’s going to be some tweaks, we know. When you lose, you have to look yourself in the mirror and say ‘What can we do to get better, what holes can we fill.’ Thankfully, we have some time to figure that out.”

The award was first handed out last year, when Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox won the inaugural trophy — named for West, the league’s original “Mr. Clutch” — with Miami’s Jimmy Butler second and DeRozan third. Gilgeous-Alexander was seventh in the clutch voting last year and Curry tied for ninth.

There were 23 players up for the award this year, that list being put together by a balloting of coaches. From there, a panel of 99 reporters and broadcasters who cover the league made the final selection; their ballots were due last week before the start of the play-in tournament. NBA awards take only the regular season into consideration.

Curry was the third player to be announced as an award-winner by the NBA this week, joining Philadelphia’s Tyrese Maxey (Most Improved) and Minnesota’s Naz Reid (Sixth Man). The next award comes Sunday when either Oklahoma City’s Mark Daigneault, Minnesota’s Chris Finch or Orlando’s Jamahl Mosley will be revealed as Coach of the Year.

The schedule for distributing the other individual awards has yet to be revealed by the league. The ones awaiting scheduling are Rookie of the Year (San Antonio’s Victor Wembanyama, Oklahoma City’s Chet Holmgren or Charlotte’s Brandon Miller), Defensive Player of the Year (Wembanyama, Minnesota’s Rudy Gobert or Miami’s Bam Adebayo) and Most Valuable Player (Denver’s Nikola Jokic, Dallas’ Luka Doncic or Gilgeous-Alexander).

Additionally, there are the All-NBA, All-Rookie and All-Defensive teams that will be released as well.


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