Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry said his doubters drove him to win a second consecutive NBA Most Valuable Player award.
Curry took home the NBA's MVP on Tuesday, a day on from his stunning 40-point performance against the Portland Trail Blazers which guided the Warriors to a commanding 3-1 Western Conference semi-final series.
When Curry picked up the honour last year, he and the Warriors were the new kids on the block, a group of upstarts playing a brand of basketball that was exciting but not considered championship-calibre.
Of course, Curry and Co. would go on to prove them wrong, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games to claim the NBA championship.
But even after that win, both Curry and the Warriors had doubters. Remember when NBA players picked James Harden over Curry as their MVP at the Player Awards last season?
Even if you did not, Curry most certainly did. He is used to being counted out and marginalized. That is how he ended up at Davidson. But that is also what drove him to continue to push his game to new heights.
"People thought I couldn't be back here on this stage, and I tried to push myself and tried to achieve what could not be achieved, and that's something I'm very, very proud of," Curry said while accepting the award.
So Curry and his team-mates set out to prove that last year was no fluke and that is just what they did. The 28-year-old said so himself during his acceptance speech.
"It's a different journey, there are different expectations, there were different pressures, different ups and downs," Curry said.
"But [we spent] the year really just aiming to get better and to achieve what people might not have thought we deserved last year."
A year later, with 73 wins and the first unanimous NBA MVP later, Curry and the Warriors still have their doubters, but no one can argue that there is a more valuable, better player or team in the game right now.