Bill Russell (left) won the award five times in his NBA career. Wilt Chamberlain (center) won the award four times in his career.
Bird in 2004
Jordan in 2014
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won the award a record-setting six times in his career.
Bird warming up for Indiana State
Jordan in 1992
Michael Jordan won the award five times in his career.
Bird recorded 14 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in his NBA debut against the Houston Rockets on October 12, 1979.
Jordan in training with the Scottsdale Scorpions in 1994
Hakeem Olajuwon (right) is one of three players to win the NBA MVP and the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award in the same season.
Bird playing for the Celtics in a game against the Washington Bullets
Jordan with coach Phil Jackson in 1997
LeBron James is a four-time NBA MVP.
Bird playing for the Celtics in the 1985 NBA playoffs
Plaque at the United Center that chronicles Jordan's career achievements
Tim Duncan, of the San Antonio Spurs, won back-to-back Most Valuable Player awards in the '01-02 and '02-03 seasons.
A Larry Bird plaque at Quincy Market, Boston
Jordan as a member of the Washington Wizards, April 14, 2003
Derrick Rose became the youngest player to ever win the award at age 22.
Jordan on the "Dream Team" in 1992
Stephen Curry won back-to-back MVP awards and was the first unanimous winner in the 2015–16 season.
Jordan dunking the ball, 1987–88
Giannis Antetokounmpo won back to back MVP awards in 2018–19 and 2019–20. He became the first player to win League MVP and the NBA Most Improved Player award.
James Worthy, Jordan, and Dean Smith in 2007 at a North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball game honoring the 1957 and 1982 men's basketball teams
Nikola Jokić won back to back MVP awards in 2020–21 and 2021–22. He became one of only two players to be selected in the second round of the NBA draft to win the award.
Jordan on a golf course in 2007
Jordan receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama at the White House
Jordan in 2008

Bird was a 12-time NBA All-Star, won two NBA Finals MVP awards and received the NBA Most Valuable Player Award three consecutive times (1984–1986), making him the only forward in league history to do so.

- Larry Bird

Jordan's individual accolades and accomplishments include six NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards, ten NBA scoring titles (both all-time records), five NBA MVP awards, ten All-NBA First Team designations, nine All-Defensive First Team honors, fourteen NBA All-Star Game selections, three NBA All-Star Game MVP awards, three NBA steals titles, and the 1988 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award.

- Michael Jordan

Both Bill Russell and Michael Jordan won the award five times, while Wilt Chamberlain and LeBron James won the award four times.

- NBA Most Valuable Player Award

Moses Malone, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson each won the award three times, while Bob Pettit, Karl Malone, Tim Duncan, Steve Nash, Stephen Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokić have each won it twice.

- NBA Most Valuable Player Award

In the summer of 1992, Bird joined Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and other NBA stars to play for the United States basketball team in that year's Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.

- Larry Bird

In 1992, Jordan was a member of the star-studded squad that was dubbed the "Dream Team", which included Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.

- Michael Jordan
Bill Russell (left) won the award five times in his NBA career. Wilt Chamberlain (center) won the award four times in his career.

4 related topics with Alpha

Overall

National Basketball Association

3 links

Professional basketball league in North America.

Professional basketball league in North America.

Bill Russell defending against Wilt Chamberlain in 1966.
Michael Jordan goes to the basket for a slam dunk in 1987.
Kobe Bryant defending LeBron James in a February 2016 game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Cleveland Cavaliers
Bill Russell defending against Wilt Chamberlain in 1966.

That same year, rookies Larry Bird and Magic Johnson joined the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers respectively, initiating a period of significant growth in fan interest in the NBA.

Michael Jordan entered the league in 1984 with the Chicago Bulls, spurring more interest in the league.

The Most Valuable Player Award is given to the player deemed the most valuable for (his team) that season.

Johnson in 2022

Magic Johnson

3 links

American former professional basketball player.

American former professional basketball player.

Johnson in 2022
Johnson with the Lakers, c. undefined 1987
Johnson with the Lakers in 1990
Johnson, who had retired from basketball in 1991 due to HIV, was selected for the U.S. national team that won the gold medal at the Summer Olympics.
Johnson and Mayor Richard Riordan in 1995
Johnson against the Celtics in the 1987 NBA Finals
Johnson with his wife, Cookie, in 2014
Johnson giving a speech at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas on April 25, 2013.
In 2003, Johnson met with Nancy Pelosi to discuss federal assistance for those with AIDS.
Johnson's Hollywood Walk of Fame star
Johnson's number 32 jersey was retired by the Lakers in 1992.

Johnson's career achievements include three NBA MVP Awards, three NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award, nine NBA Finals appearances, 12 All-Star games, and nine All-NBA First Team selections.

His friendship and rivalry with Boston Celtics star Larry Bird, whom he faced in the 1979 NCAA finals and three NBA championship series, are well documented.

There they faced the Chicago Bulls, led by shooting guard Michael Jordan, a five-time scoring champion regarded as the finest player of his era.

Chamberlain with the Harlem Globetrotters in 1959

Wilt Chamberlain

3 links

American professional basketball player who played as a center.

American professional basketball player who played as a center.

Chamberlain with the Harlem Globetrotters in 1959
Chamberlain grabbing a rebound during a 1960 game against the New York Knicks
Chamberlain in 1962
Chamberlain and Nate Thurmond of the San Francisco Warriors competing for a rebound in 1966
Chamberlain in 1967
Chamberlain playing for the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1969 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics
Elmore Smith and Chamberlain fighting for a rebound in 1971
Chamberlain with the Lakers in 1972
Chamberlain statue in South Philadelphia
Chamberlain historical marker outside of Philadelphia's Overbrook High School
Chamberlain being defended by the Celtics' Bill Russell in 1966
Chamberlain doing the twist with two dancers at Smalls Paradise in Harlem, New York

Although Chamberlain suffered a long string of NBA Finals losses during his career, he had a successful career, winning two NBA championships, earning four regular-season NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards, the NBA Rookie of the Year award, one NBA Finals MVP award, and one NBA All-Star Game MVP award, and he was selected to thirteen NBA All-Star Games and ten All-NBA Teams (seven First and three Second teams).

The two also became friends off the court, similar to later rivals Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.

Chamberlain's 4,029 regular-season points made him the only player to break the 4,000-point barrier; the only other player to break the 3,000-point barrier is Michael Jordan, with 3,041 points in the 1986–87 NBA season.

Russell in 2011

Bill Russell

3 links

American professional basketball player who played as a center for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1956 to 1969.

American professional basketball player who played as a center for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1956 to 1969.

Russell in 2011
Russell in 1957
Russell practicing a free throw at USF, c. 1953–56
Russell is all-smiles during his two national championship seasons at USF.
Russell, c. 1960
Russell and coach Red Auerbach with his trademark victory Blackstone cigar after winning the 1966 NBA championship
Russell in 2005
Former President Bill Clinton and Russell at the Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library in 2014
A bronze statue of Russell in Boston, 2013
Russell defending against Chamberlain in 1966
Russell with coach Red Auerbach in his rookie season, as they are seated on the sidelines. Auerbach refused to have a color barrier for the Celtics. Following his retirement in 1966, he handed off coaching duties to Russell as a player-coach.

A five-time NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) and a 12-time NBA All-Star, he was the centerpiece of the Celtics dynasty that won 11 NBA championships during his 13-year career.

In his career, Russell won five NBA MVP awards (1959, 1961–63, 1965), which is tied with Michael Jordan for second all-time behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's six awards, and is at No. 6 for most regular season MVP–NBA Finals MVP awards, despite the latter being assigned only since 1969.

On May 6, 1999, the Celtics re-retired Russell's jersey in a ceremony attended by his on-court rival and friend Chamberlain, along with Celtics legend Larry Bird and Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.