Stephen Curry has it all.
He won the Most Valuable Player of the NBA Finals, the trophy thought by some to be the final piece in his legacy.
In the Bay Area, we’ve seen some pretty amazing performances with a championship on the line. You could make the argument that Curry’s performance against the Boston Celtics vaults him right to the top of those who went above and beyond the call when it mattered most.
Having worked in the business for 40 years, I’ll place Curry at No. 3 on my mythical “Mount Clutchmore” alongside three others whose heroics throughout the postseason was cause for parades from a delirious fan base.
Here’s how they rank:
Madison Bumgarner, left, celebrates with Buster Posey after the last out of the 2014 World Series in Kansas City. Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group
1. Madison Bumgarner, Giants, 2014
The mere sight of Bumgarner striding to the mound in the fifth inning of Game 7 against the Kansas City Royals was unparalleled high drama. Then he proceeded to shut down the Royals for five innings on just two days’ rest and even survived an outfield misplay with two outs in the ninth.
When Bumgarner got Salvador Perez on a foul pop to third baseman Pablo Sandoval, he completed a five-inning save, giving up just two hits. Having beaten the Royals twice in the series, Bumgarner was World Series MVP.
If that’s not enough, Bumgarner was also the MVP of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals and kicked off the Giants’ postseason run with a complete-game win in Pittsburgh in the one-and-done wild-card game.
Bumgarner’s final postseason line: A 4-1 record with one unforgettable save and 1.04 earned run average over 52 innings, giving up 45 hits with six walks and 45 strikeouts.
Rickey Henderson was the dominant figure at the plate and on the bases during the 1989 postseason. Getty Images
2. Rickey Henderson, Athletics, 1989
Henderson laid waste to both the Toronto Blue Jays in the ALCS and the Giants in the World Series with the kind of tour de force that could be authored only by Henderson and no one else.
Amazingly enough, Henderson’s heroics were overshadowed to a degree because Will Clark was having his own huge championship series against the Chicago Cubs and by an earthquake that interrupted the Bay Bridge World Series against the Giants.
The MVP of the ALCS, Henderson hit .400 with a .609 on-base percentage with two home runs and five RBIs, eight runs and eight stolen bases in five games. Then against the Giants, Henderson hit .474 with a double, two triples and a .524 on-base percentage over the four-game sweep.
The damage Henderson inflicted upon the Blue Jays and Giants overall: A .441 batting average with one double, three triples, three home runs, 11 stolen bases and a .545 on-base percentage.
Warriors guard Stephen Curry rescued the NBA Finals with a 43-point effort in Game 4 in Boston. Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group
3. Stephen Curry, Warriors, 2022
Truth be told, Curry’s postseason wasn’t head and shoulders statistically above what two …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News
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