June 11, 2015 06:00 PM

The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors may be getting ready to face off for game 4 of the 2015 NBA Finals, but the real winner has already been decided: Riley Curry.

The adorable toddler daughter of Warriors star Stephen Curry has stolen the show several times during recent post-game conferences with Dad, and from the moment she danced her way onto the scene, it was clear that there was even more excitement to be found off of the court.

Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty

So how did Riley manage to unseat her father and rival star LeBron James as the most compelling contenders in the finals? Let’s take a look back at her meteoric rise into our hearts:

Early hints of her eventual superstardom were evident back in May, when she crashed an interview her uncle, Seth Curry, was giving after leading his team, the Erie BayHawks, to victory in a NBA Development League game. If there’s one thing that Riley has learned from growing up in a family of basketball players, it’s that practice makes perfect.

She then had an impressive rookie outing when she accompanied her dad to the post-game conference on May 19, easily stealing all of the attention as she showed herself to be the first person to be able to shut down her father.

Riley also proved that superstardom is in her blood, and reveled in her Rookie of the Year title by waving to her many adoring fans, both in the room and around the world. Clearly, she’s picked up a thing or two from watching Stephen sign all those autographs.

But it was her encore performance at a second conference on May 28 that really earned Riley the MVP trophy. Her father led his team to the Finals that night, but once Riley hit the stage, all eyes were on her.

And she knew exactly how to win. First she broke out her signature move:

Then, she made sure to pay homage to the greats that came before her. No, we’re not talking about her father or even her grandfather, Dell Curry, who also played in the NBA for 16 seasons — we’re talking about Kanye West.

Just when fans thought she might be hitting a sophomore slump, Riley came through in the clutch by upping her hide-and-seek game, but not before running through the proper warm-ups in order to avoid injury. In this case, that means handing her gum off for safekeeping.

Like any sports fan, Riley knows it all comes down to the final moments, so with only seconds left on the clock, she came through with the most impressive finale we’ve seen during these games, and shook off all of the haters and critics with her very own dance party.

Of course, like any good MVP — including Stephen himself — Riley isn’t going to take all of the credit. Fame, like basketball, is a team sport and Riley is always willing to share the love with the people who helped her win the hearts of America. So, when her moment arrived (in overtime of the second game of the finals on June 7), Riley turned to her grandfather, Dell, for the assist.

Sure, Stephen was the one making the impressive free throw, but he’s totally outmatched when it comes to his daughter. And now that she’s taken her skills off-court as well, we don’t see Dad regaining his title any time soon.

So, NBA, consider this our humble petition to see the MVP title awarded to the true star of the post-season, Riley Curry. After all, if there’s one thing that both Cavaliers and Warriors fans can agree on, it’s that nobody (not even King James himself), is going to be able to stop the tot’s hot streak.

— Julia Emmanuele 

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