Jordan in 2014
Jerry West, the inaugural recipient, is the only player to win the award while being on the losing team.
Jordan in 1992
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who won twice in 1971 and 1985, holds the record for the longest gap between awards
Jordan in training with the Scottsdale Scorpions in 1994
Magic Johnson is the only player to win the award as a rookie.
Jordan with coach Phil Jackson in 1997
Michael Jordan has won the award a record six times.
Plaque at the United Center that chronicles Jordan's career achievements
Shaquille O'Neal is the only player other than Michael Jordan to have won the award three times consecutively.
Jordan as a member of the Washington Wizards, April 14, 2003
Tony Parker was the second player born outside the US to win the award, joining Hakeem Olajuwon.
Jordan on the "Dream Team" in 1992
LeBron James (pictured) is the only player to win the award with three different teams.
Jordan dunking the ball, 1987–88
Giannis Antetokounmpo (pictured) is the most recent winner and the first player from Greece to win the 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
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

Michael Jordan is a record six-time award winner.

- NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award

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
Jordan in 2014

10 related topics

Alpha

National Basketball Association

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.

In addition, the league awards the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award to the best performing player of the series.

Russell in 2011

Bill Russell

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

American former 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 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.

In 2009, the NBA renamed in his honor the NBA Finals' Most Valuable Player trophy to the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award.

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.

Johnson in 2022

Magic Johnson

American former professional basketball player and former president of basketball operations of the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

American former professional basketball player and former president of basketball operations of the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

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.

He won a championship and an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in his rookie season, and won four more championships with the Lakers during the 1980s.

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.

O'Neal in 2017

Shaquille O'Neal

American former professional basketball player who is a sports analyst on the television program Inside the NBA.

American former professional basketball player who is a sports analyst on the television program Inside the NBA.

O'Neal in 2017
O'Neal playing for the Cole High School varsity basketball team in 1988–89
DIESEL DJing at the 2018 All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game
In 8 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers (1996–2004), O'Neal won three consecutive championships from 2000 to 2002 and appeared in the 2004 NBA Finals.
O'Neal during Game 5 of the 2000 NBA Finals
O'Neal with Miami in 2007
O'Neal holding the championship ball when the NBA Champion Heat visited the White House
O'Neal with Phoenix teammate Steve Nash
O'Neal finished his career with the Boston Celtics.
O'Neal with the US national team at the 1994 FIBA World Championship
O'Neal's free throw shooting was regarded as one of his major weaknesses.
O'Neal in 1998
O'Neal (left) facing Big Show during the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 32
O'Neal at the 2009 NBA All-Star game
O'Neal in 2011
O'Neal and the rest of the Lakers with President George W. Bush in the White House at a ceremony in early 2002 commemorating the team's 2001 NBA Championship

O'Neal's individual accolades include the 1999–2000 Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award; the 1992–93 NBA Rookie of the Year award; 15 All-Star Game selections, three All-Star Game MVP awards; three Finals MVP awards; two scoring titles; 14 All-NBA team selections, and three NBA All-Defensive Team selections.

He is one of only three players to win NBA MVP, All-Star Game MVP and Finals MVP awards in the same year (2000); the other players are Willis Reed in 1970 and Michael Jordan in 1996 and 1998.

Abdul-Jabbar in 2014

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

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

He was a member of six NBA championship teams as a player and two more as an assistant coach, and was twice voted NBA Finals MVP.

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.

James with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2022

LeBron James

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).

James with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2022
James picks up his dribble against Caron Butler of the Washington Wizards in November 2006.
James engages in his pre-game ritual of tossing crushed chalk into the air in March 2008; the routine was mostly ended after 2011.
James and DeShawn Stevenson in April 2008. The two had a short feud after Stevenson called James "overrated".
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.
James goes in for a slam dunk as a member of the Heat, as John Wall of the Wizards looks on in March 2011.
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.
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.
James dunking in October 2016
James protects the ball from Kyrie Irving in October 2017. The two were teammates in Cleveland for three seasons.
In June 2018, James became a free agent for a second time. He signed with the Lakers.
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.
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

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.

After the game, play-by-play announcer Marv Albert called the performance "one of the greatest moments in postseason history" and color commentator Steve Kerr described it as "Jordan-esque".

West at the White House in 2019

Jerry West

American basketball executive and former player.

American basketball executive and former player.

West at the White House in 2019
West from The Monticola, 1959
Jerry West (with the ball) in 1971
The Forum was the home of the Lakers from 1967 until 1999.
West's No. 44 jersey (upper left) was retired in 1983 and hangs in the rafters of the Crypto.com Arena.
West in 1972
In 1999, West signed six-time NBA champion coach Phil Jackson.
West receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from US President Donald Trump in the Oval Office in 2019
West interviewed on ESPN Los Angeles

Having played in nine NBA Finals, he is also the only player in NBA history to be named Finals MVP despite being on the losing team (1969).

Among retired players, only Michael Jordan, Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain surpass his 27.0 points per game average.

Bryant with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2014

Kobe Bryant

American professional basketball player.

American professional basketball player.

Bryant with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2014
Bryant's retired No. 33 jersey and banner at the Lower Merion High School gym
Bryant taking a shot in 1999
Bryant at the free-throw line, 2005
Bryant driving towards the basket
Bryant's Lakers lost to the Boston Celtics in six games during the 2008 NBA Finals.
Derek Fisher and Bryant with President Barack Obama during the White House visit honoring the Lakers' 2009 championship
Bryant shoots a left-handed floater over future teammate Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic on January 18, 2010.
Bryant and fellow Lakers meet with President Barack Obama in honor of the 2010 championship.
Bryant wearing a mask in 2012 after suffering a broken nose
Bryant dunking against the Milwaukee Bucks, 2013
Bryant shooting against Marcin Gortat of the Washington Wizards, 2014
Bryant playing against Gary Neal of the Washington Wizards after announcing his forthcoming retirement, 2015
Bryant, in his final Cleveland game, defending LeBron James
Bryant avoiding a collision in a game against China at the 2008 Summer Olympics
Bryant shoots a fadeaway over Shane Battier in 2009.
Bryant handling the ball in 2014, when he became the first NBA player with over 30,000 points and 6,000 assists
Bryant at the premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, 2007
Bryant at a Nike store launch ceremony in Taipei, 2007
Bryant with U.S. President George W. Bush, Jason Kidd, and Deron Williams at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China
Fans gathered in front of Staples Center on the day of Bryant's death

Widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, Bryant won five NBA championships, was an 18-time All-Star, a 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, a 12-time member of the All-Defensive Team, the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP), and a two-time NBA Finals MVP.

Even at an early stage of his career, sportswriters were comparing his skills to those of Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson.

Olajuwon in 2015

Hakeem Olajuwon

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.

Bird in 2004

Larry Bird

American former professional basketball player, coach and executive in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

American former professional basketball player, coach and executive in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Bird in 2004
Bird warming up for Indiana State
Bird recorded 14 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in his NBA debut against the Houston Rockets on October 12, 1979.
Bird playing for the Celtics in a game against the Washington Bullets
Bird playing for the Celtics in the 1985 NBA playoffs
A Larry Bird plaque at Quincy Market, Boston

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.

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.