The Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry won his second consecutive Most Valuable Player award yesterday.
And for the first time in history, the vote was unanimous.
That's right: All 131 voters, who included a panel of 130 sportswriters and the collective "Kia MVP fan vote," chose Curry as the first-place winner. That's never been done before. Not by Michael Jordan. Not by LeBron James. Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell couldn't pull it off either.
So why is everybody so in love with Steph?
The reasons are many, but here are a few:
He shows humility.
It's not uncommon for an award winner to acknowledge those who've helped along the way, and Curry did the same yesterday. But Curry's had the reputation for being a humble teammate throughout his career, even going back to college.
"In 2013, we thought he was going to make the All-Star team," Ridder said. "We were in Chicago on a Thursday off-night and TNT unveiled the reserve All-Stars. He didn't make it.
"Five minutes later, I got a text message from him: 'Thanks, Raymond, for everything you tried to do to get me on the All-Star team.' Most guys in this league won't thank the PR guys when they make the All-Star team. He reached out to say thanks even though he didn't make it."
Takeaway: Cultivate humility by treating others with respect and putting their interests ahead of your own.
Doing so will draw others to help you when you need it.
He doesn't stop working hard.
If you make it to "the top" of your profession, it's easy to get lazy. What else is there to achieve?
But Curry only gets better every year.
For example, Curry broke the record for made three-pointers in a season back in 2013, with 272. Last year, he broke that record--making 286 three-pointers.
And this year? He's destroyed his own record, with 402 made three-pointers. (To help put that into context, check out this infographic by The New York Times.)
Of course, it's not just his shooting. Dribbling, defense--even his rebounding shows consistent improvement.
Takeaway: Constantly strive to get better--at your strengths and your weaknesses.
Set reasonable goals that serve as steppingstones to larger ones, and you'll reap the benefits of continuous improvement.
He's himself--and that makes him relatable.
Curry has been called a "real-life video game" and a "human cheat code," nicknames that reference his ability to make superhuman feats on the basketball court.
But this isn't 6 feet 8 inch tall LeBron James. James, who weighs in at around 250 pounds, looks like a superhero.
Curry, on the other hand, has a slender frame and looks like someone you wouldn't recognize on the street.
Additionally, he's known to be more of the quiet type ... leaving the role of "vocal leader" of the Warriors to Draymond Green.
All of this makes Curry much more accessible to just about everybody.
Takeaway: The key is to just be yourself.
Tall or short, quiet or loud--embrace whatever it is that makes you, you. But at the same time, look for ways to relate to others.
When building a relationship, focus on what you and the other person have in common. This helps to build rapport.
Then, your differences will add depth.
He's a man of his word.
Flash back almost seven years ago, to Curry's rookie season. The Warriors had just lost to the Indiana Pacers by 14 points. The team was 2-5 (they finished the season 26-56), and the future didn't look bright.
Then, Curry tweeted the following:
Promise to all the Warrior fans...we will figure this thing out...if it's the last thing we do we will figure it out-- Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) November 12, 2009
In the following years, Curry would see his team change dramatically, and also go through four different head coaches (and a significant number of losses).
But he remained committed to his promise, and did everything on his end to deliver.
I believe it's safe to say that Steph's figured this thing out.
Takeaway: In today's business climate, it's common to see people renege on agreements when they won't work out in their favor.
Keeping to your word not only shows your character, it builds your character.
Because, remember: If it doesn't kill you, it only makes you stronger.
And in Steph Curry's case, it helps you make history.