James with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2022
Jordan in 2014
Bill Russell (left) won the award five times in his NBA career. Wilt Chamberlain (center) won the award four times in his career.
James picks up his dribble against Caron Butler of the Washington Wizards in November 2006.
Jordan in 1992
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won the award a record-setting six times in his career.
James engages in his pre-game ritual of tossing crushed chalk into the air in March 2008; the routine was mostly ended after 2011.
Jordan in training with the Scottsdale Scorpions in 1994
Michael Jordan won the award five times in his career.
James and DeShawn Stevenson in April 2008. The two had a short feud after Stevenson called James "overrated".
Jordan with coach Phil Jackson in 1997
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.
James with the Cavaliers in November 2009. He finished his first stint with the Cavaliers averaging 27.8 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, and 1.7 steals per game.
Plaque at the United Center that chronicles Jordan's career achievements
LeBron James is a four-time NBA MVP.
James goes in for a slam dunk as a member of the Heat, as John Wall of the Wizards looks on in March 2011.
Jordan as a member of the Washington Wizards, April 14, 2003
Tim Duncan, of the San Antonio Spurs, won back-to-back Most Valuable Player awards in the '01-02 and '02-03 seasons.
James stands at midcourt during a dead ball on January 16, 2013. On that night, he became the youngest player in NBA history to score 20,000 career points.
Jordan on the "Dream Team" in 1992
Derrick Rose became the youngest player to ever win the award at age 22.
James throws a pass as Gorgui Dieng defends in December 2014. Later that season, James reached several passing milestones, including becoming the Cavaliers' all-time assists leader.
Jordan dunking the ball, 1987–88
Stephen Curry won back-to-back MVP awards and was the first unanimous winner in the 2015–16 season.
James dunking in October 2016
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
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 protects the ball from Kyrie Irving in October 2017. The two were teammates in Cleveland for three seasons.
Jordan on a golf course in 2007
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.
In June 2018, James became a free agent for a second time. He signed with the Lakers.
Jordan receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama at the White House
James backing down on Bradley Beal in December 2018. After missing out the playoffs for the first time since 2005, James and Anthony Davis led the Lakers in the NBA Bubble to win their first NBA title since 2010.
Jordan in 2008
James at the 2022 NBA All-Star Game.
James posterized former Cleveland teammate Kevin Love in a game against the Cavaliers on March 21, 2022.
James attempting a shot over China's Yao Ming at the 2008 Summer Olympics
James dunking in a 2012 Team USA exhibition game
James drives to the basket in March 2008. A deft finisher, he led the NBA in scoring and shooting percentage at the rim in 2013.
James defending against Joe Harris in February 2018
James with the Cavaliers in 2017. NBA analyst Brian Windhorst, who spent his career covering James, recounted: "No one has ever had as much hype as James has had to live up to, and James has delivered on every last drop."
James, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Dwyane Wade tape a public service announcement in January 2014
James with California Governor Gavin Newsom on The Shop when Newsom signed the Fair Pay to Play Act in 2019
James (center) celebrates during the Heat's 2012 championship parade

Nicknamed "King James", he is widely considered one of the greatest players of all time and is often compared to Michael Jordan in debates over the greatest basketball player ever.

- LeBron James

James has won four NBA championships, four NBA MVP awards, four NBA Finals MVP awards, three All-Star MVP awards, and two Olympic gold medals.

- LeBron James

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

Playing in his 14th and final NBA All-Star Game in 2003, Jordan passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time leading scorer in All-Star Game history, a record since broken by Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

- Michael Jordan
James with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2022

7 related topics with Alpha

Overall

National Basketball Association

5 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.

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

The Lakers/Spurs dominance continued in 2007 with a four-game sweep by the Spurs over the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers.

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

Johnson in 2022

Magic Johnson

5 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.

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.

The franchise reached an agreement with free agent LeBron James on a four-year contract in 2018, but efforts to trade for Anthony Davis during the 2018–19 season proved unsuccessful.

Malone in 2011

Karl Malone

3 links

American former professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

American former professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Malone in 2011
Malone, circa 1988
Malone in 1997
Malone's statue outside the Vivint Arena
Malone with Diamond Dallas Page in 1998

He was a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, a 14-time NBA All-Star, and an 11-time member of the All-NBA first team.

His 36,928 career points scored rank third all-time in NBA history behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James, and he holds the records for most free throws attempted and made, in addition to being tied for the second-most first-team All-NBA selections with Kobe Bryant and behind LeBron James.

Malone averaged 29.1 points in, good for second in the NBA behind Michael Jordan, and 10.7 rebounds, which was fifth in the league.

Abdul-Jabbar in 2014

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

3 links

American former professional basketball player who played 20 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers.

American former professional basketball player who played 20 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Abdul-Jabbar in 2014
Alcindor with the reverse two-hand dunk against Stanford
Alcindor versus USC
Alcindor performs ceremonial net cutting at Freedom Hall in Louisville in 1969 after a 20-point win over Purdue and Rick Mount in unprecedented third-straight national title en route to seven consecutive national championships for UCLA.
Alcindor displaying the skyhook over Wes Unseld of the Baltimore Bullets. The shot was almost impossible to block.
Abdul-Jabbar lines up a free throw. He started wearing goggles in order to avoid damage to his corneas.
Abdul-Jabbar receiving a pass from Magic Johnson during the 1985 NBA Finals
Abdul-Jabbar against the Boston Celtics in the 1980s
Actor Shavar Ross and Abdul-Jabbar on the set of Diff'rent Strokes, c. 1982
Abdul-Jabbar (center) at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear with Comedy Central hosts Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart
Abdul-Jabbar at a book signing in 2007
Hillary Clinton and Abdul-Jabbar, 2012
Abdul-Jabbar surrounded by children's division players during an exhibition at Club Ferro Carril Oeste of Buenos Aires, 1993
Abdul-Jabbar (below, far right) and other former NBA players visit the New York NBA Store in January 2005

During his career as a center, Abdul-Jabbar was a record six-time NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP), a record 19-time NBA All-Star, a 15-time All-NBA Team member, and an 11-time NBA All-Defensive Team member.

ESPN named him the greatest center of all time in 2007, the greatest player in college basketball history in 2008, and the second best player in NBA history (behind Michael Jordan) in 2016.

In 2022, he was ranked No. 3 (first in his position) in ESPN's NBA 75th Anniversary Team list, and No. 3 (behind Jordan and LeBron James) in a similar list by The Athletic.

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.

The game featured Shane Battier, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, Maya Moore, Alonzo Mourning, Joakim Noah, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, and Obama's friends from high school.

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.

Olajuwon in 2015

Hakeem Olajuwon

2 links

Nigerian-American former professional basketball player.

Nigerian-American former professional basketball player.

Olajuwon in 2015
A billboard at the University of Houston congratulating Olajuwon on being the 1994 NBA Most Valuable Player
One of only five numbers retired by the University of Houston men's basketball team, Olajuwon's No. 34 hangs in Fertitta Center.
Olajuwon (right) defending Jawann Oldham on November 25, 1986
Olajuwon signing autographs

Olajuwon was drafted by the Houston Rockets with the first overall selection of the 1984 NBA draft, a draft that included Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, and John Stockton.

He became the first non-American to be an NBA All-Star and start in an NBA All-Star Game, the first non-American to win the NBA MVP, the first non-American to win NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and in the 1993–94 season became the first player in NBA history to win the NBA's MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, and Finals MVP awards in the same season.

In the 2011 offseason, LeBron James flew to Houston and spent time working with Olajuwon.

Westbrook with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2022

Russell Westbrook

1 links

American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Westbrook with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2022
Westbrook playing defense on USC's O. J. Mayo
Westbrook (left) looks at then-teammate Kevin Durant in the post against Boston in 2010
Westbrook in March 2011
Westbrook drives to the basket in March 2011
Westbrook goes up for a layup against Cleveland in 2015
Westbrook defending Damian Lillard in January 2016.
Westbrook with André Roberson
Westbrook shooting over Washington's John Wall
Westbrook reunited with former Thunder teammate James Harden in Houston.
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Westbrook dribbling in 2015

A member of the NBA 75th Anniversary Team, he is a nine-time NBA All-Star and earned the NBA Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) for the 2016–17 season.

He joined Michael Jordan as the only players with 25+ points and 10+ assists in their NBA Finals debut.

On February 27, in a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, Westbrook recorded 40 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists to become the first player to have three straight triple-doubles since LeBron James did so in 2009.