Bill Russell (left) won the award five times in his NBA career. Wilt Chamberlain (center) won the award four times in his career.
Jordan in 2014
O'Neal in 2017
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won the award a record-setting six times in his career.
Jordan in 1992
O'Neal playing for the Cole High School varsity basketball team in 1988–89
Michael Jordan won the award five times in his career.
Jordan in training with the Scottsdale Scorpions in 1994
DIESEL DJing at the 2018 All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game
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.
Jordan with coach Phil Jackson in 1997
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.
LeBron James is a four-time NBA MVP.
Plaque at the United Center that chronicles Jordan's career achievements
O'Neal during Game 5 of the 2000 NBA Finals
Tim Duncan, of the San Antonio Spurs, won back-to-back Most Valuable Player awards in the '01-02 and '02-03 seasons.
Jordan as a member of the Washington Wizards, April 14, 2003
O'Neal with Miami in 2007
Derrick Rose became the youngest player to ever win the award at age 22.
Jordan on the "Dream Team" in 1992
O'Neal holding the championship ball when the NBA Champion Heat visited the White House
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
O'Neal with Phoenix teammate Steve Nash
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
O'Neal finished his career with the Boston Celtics.
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
O'Neal with the US national team at the 1994 FIBA World Championship
Jordan receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama at the White House
O'Neal's free throw shooting was regarded as one of his major weaknesses.
Jordan in 2008
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.

- Shaquille O'Neal

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

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.

- Shaquille O'Neal

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

Shaquille O'Neal in 1999–2000 and LeBron James in 2012–13 are the only two players to have fallen one vote shy of a unanimous selection, both receiving 120 of 121 votes.

- NBA Most Valuable Player Award

During the 2001 NBA Finals, Phil Jackson compared Jordan's dominance to Shaquille O'Neal, stating: "Michael would get fouled on every play and still have to play through it and just clear himself for shots instead and would rise to that occasion."

- 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.

7 related topics with Alpha

Overall

National Basketball Association

6 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.

Tim Duncan and David Robinson won the 1999 championship with the Spurs, and Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant started the 2000s with three consecutive championships for the Lakers.

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.

Magic Johnson joined Shaquille O'Neal and celebrity coach Spike Lee to lead the blue team to a 147–132 victory over the white team, which was coached by Arsenio Hall.

Abdul-Jabbar in 2014

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

4 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 contrast to other low-post specialists like Wilt Chamberlain, Artis Gilmore, or Shaquille O'Neal, he was a relatively slender player, standing 7ft 2in tall while weighing around 240 lb to 250 lb, although he bulked to 270 lb in 1986; in his early years, he used that frame for agility and speed while in later years he utilized a bigger frame for trying to guard under the basket.

Chamberlain with the Harlem Globetrotters in 1959

Wilt Chamberlain

4 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).

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.

Like later center Shaquille O'Neal, Chamberlain was a target of criticism because of his poor free-throw shooting, a .511 career average, with a low of .380 over the 1967–68 season.

Russell in 2011

Bill Russell

4 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.

Russell's Rules was published in 2001, and he convinced Miami Heat superstar center Shaquille O'Neal to bury the hatchet with fellow NBA superstar and former Los Angeles Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant and end the Shaq–Kobe feud in January 2006.

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.

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.

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.

All-Star point guard Gary Payton also joined the Lakers in an attempt to win his first NBA championship, and with Malone, Payton, Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, the Lakers were favorites to win the title.

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.

The following year, after a lackluster regular season, Olajuwon's Rockets swept Shaquille O'Neal's Orlando Magic in 4 games.