The Golden State Warriors won their record 73rd game and Kobe Bryant scored 60 points on the last night of the season and the last of his career. Then ESPN and the Internet tripped over themselves to say that Kobe had stolen the night from the Warriors. Except that, when considering the issue for more than 30 seconds, Stephen Curry scoring 46 points on 24 shots and leading his team to the greatest regular season of all time is higher art than Bryant scoring 60 points on 50 shots in a meaningless sideshow.
Stephen Curry is the anti-Kobe. He is the antidote to Kobe. Curry is an efficient scorer. He is a good teammate. He is a likeable superstar. Kobe is Bizzaro Curry.
When Bryant announced his retirement in a poem on The Players’ Tribune and in a press release positing him as a “Hero / Villain” — which was trademarked by Kobe, Inc. — it wasn’t just cynical marketing. It was his permission slip to shoot 36 percent and be bad at basketball for an entire season. For the Lakers to lose. For Bryant to not be held accountable.
And so he goes …
These are the 2015-16 NBA awards.
Player of the Year | Stephen Curry, Warriors. 30.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 6.7 assists, 56.6 2-point shooting, 45.4 3-point shooting, 90.8 free throw shooting, 2.1 steals, 31.5 PER, 8.85 RPM.1 Age  Curry had one of the greatest seasons of all time. He led the league in scoring, free throw percentage and steals. He broke his own record for 3-pointers — in February. He led the league in Player Efficiency Rating (eighth all-time) and True Shooting Percentage.
2. Russell Westbrook, Thunder
3. LeBron James, Cavaliers
4. Kevin Durant, Thunder
5. Kawhi Leonard, Spurs
Rookie of the Year | Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves. 18.3 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 55.9 2-point shooting, 81.1 free throw shooting, 22.5 PER, 0.89 RPM. Age  One of the top 10 seasons of all time by a 20-year-old.
2. Nikola Jokic, Nuggets
3. Kristaps Porzingis, Knicks
Coach of the Year | Steve Kerr (and Luke Walton), Warriors. 73-9. Gregg Popovich’s coaching acumen with Phil Jackson’s Zen.
2. Gregg Popovich, Spurs
3. Steve Clifford, Bobcats
Honorable mention | Dwane Casey (Raptors), Brad Stevens (Celtics), Stan Van Gundy (Pistons)
Defensive Player of the Year | Draymond Green, Warriors. 1.5 steals, 1.4 blocks, 4.51 Defensive RPM. Age  Too close to call. Kawhi Leonard anchored the league’s best defense, but Green can guard all five positions.
2. Kawhi Leonard, Spurs
3. DeAndre Jordan, Clippers
Point guard | Chris Paul, Clippers
Shooting guard | Danny Green, Spurs
Sixth Man Award | Tristan Thompson, Cavaliers. 7.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 58.8 2-point shooting, 61.6 free throw shooting, 15.9 PER, 1.00 RPM. Age  He will start in the playoffs.
2. Ed Davis, Trail Blazers
3. Enes Kanter, Thunder
Bench | Thompson, Davis, Kanter, Andre Iguodala (Warriors), Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson (Pelicans) and Will Barton (Nuggets)
Most Improved Player | Kemba Walker, Hornets. 20.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 45.9 2-point shooting, 37.1 3-point shooting, 84.7 free throw shooting, 20.8 PER, 2.85 RPM. Age  Everyone hates this award, because it’s undefined. The winner is usually a still developing player whose minutes doubled — which is why Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum is the favorite. But Walker improved his shooting.
2. Draymond Green, Warriors
3. Reggie Jackson, Pistons
Teammate of the Year | Draymond Green, Warriors. 14.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 53.7 2-point shooting, 38.8 3-point shooting, 69.6 free throw shooting, 13 triple-doubles, 19.3 PER, 8.28 RPM. Age  The perfect point forward, Green led the league’s best team in rebounding and assists.
Forward | LeBron James, Cavaliers. 25.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 57.3 2-point shooting, 30.9 3-point shooting, 73.1 free throw shooting, 27.5 PER, 8.37 RPM. Age  One of the top five players of all time.
Forward | Kevin Durant, Thunder. 28.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 56.8 2-point shooting, 38.8 3-point shooting, 89.8 free throw shooting, 28.2 PER, 6.08 RPM. Age  He has scored at least 20 points in 64 consecutive games — 62 short of Wilt Chamberlain’s record.
Center | DeMarcus Cousins, Kings. 26.9 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 47.3 2-point shooting, 33.3 3-point shooting, 71.8 free throw shooting, 23.6 PER, 5.03 RPM. Age  Kentucky is now the cradle of centers: Cousins, Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns, Nerlens Noel and Willie Cauley-Stein. Even Nazr Mohammed played 19 minutes this season.
Point guard | Stephen Curry, Warriors. 30.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 6.7 assists, 56.6 2-point shooting, 45.4 3-point shooting, 90.8 free throw shooting, 2.1 steals, 31.5 PER, 8.85 RPM. Age  Nike lost Curry to Under Armour.
Point guard | Russell Westbrook, Thunder. 23.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, 10.4 assists, 50.3 2-point shooting, 29.6 3-point shooting, 81.2 free throw shooting, 2.0 steals, 18 triple-doubles, 27.6 PER, 7.58 RPM. Age  He’s better than Kevin Durant.
Forward | Kawhi Leonard, Spurs. 21.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 52.8 2-point shooting, 44.3 3-point shooting, 87.4 free throw shooting, 26.0 PER, 8.20 RPM. Age  The best two-way player in the game and the most well-rounded elite shooter since Larry Bird.
Forward | Draymond Green, Warriors. 14.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 53.7 2-point shooting, 38.8 3-point shooting, 69.6 free throw shooting, 19.3 PER, 8.28 RPM. Age  Lineup of Death: Green, LeBron, Durant, Curry and Westbrook.
Center | DeAndre Jordan, Clippers. 12.7 points, 13.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 70.4 2-point shooting, 43.0 free throw shooting, 2.3 blocks, 20.6 PER, 4.50 RPM. Age  Led the league in field goal percentage for the fourth straight season.
Point guard | Chris Paul, Clippers. 19.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 10.0 assists, 50.1 2-point shooting, 37.1 3-point shooting, 89.6 free throw shooting, 2.1 steals, 26.2 PER, 8.07 RPM. Age  He punched Kevin Durant and Rudy Gobert in the crotch.
Point guard | Kyle Lowry, Raptors. 21.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 46.1 2-point shooting, 38.8 3-point shooting, 81.1 free throw shooting, 2.1 steals, 22.1 PER, 6.33 RPM. Age  Best backcourts:
1. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, Warriors
2. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, Raptors
3. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, Trail Blazers
4. Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum, Hornets
5. Chris Paul and J.J. Redick, Clippers
Forward | Paul George, Pacers. 23.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 44.7 2-point shooting, 37.2 3-point shooting, 86.0 free throw shooting, 20.9 PER, 4.60 RPM. Age  A great comeback after missing 76 games with a broken right leg last season. He’s eating better, too.
Forward | Paul Millsap, Hawks. 17.1 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 51.2 2-point shooting, 75.7 free throw shooting, 21.3 PER, 5.03 RPM. Age  All ballplayer. No bullshit.
Center | Anthony Davis, Pelicans. 24.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 51.1 2-point shooting, 75.8 free throw shooting, 2.0 blocks, 25.0 PER, 1.64 RPM. Age  Missed 21 games, including the last 14 of the season with a partially torn labrum in his left shoulder.
Guard | James Harden, Rockets. 29.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 49.4 2-point shooting, 35.9 3-point shooting, 86.0 free throw shooting, 25.3 PER, 4.53 RPM. Age  He is the laziest defender in the league and an annoying presence, but his offense and durability (82 games, 3,125 minutes) pushed the Rockets into the playoffs.
Point guard | Kemba Walker, Hornets. 20.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 45.9 2-point shooting, 37.1 3-point shooting, 84.7 free throw shooting, 20.8 PER, 2.85 RPM. Age  Best season by a Hornets player since Eddie Jones in 1999-2000.
HONORABLE MENTION | Jimmy Butler (Bulls), Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers) and John Wall (Wizards)
- ESPN.com’s Real Plus-Minus is the advanced metric of the moment. ↩