NBA Finals MVP Award: how it works and Hall of Fame

From the Hall of Fame to the ranking of players and franchises with more titles, all in one article!

Michael Jordan

The Finals MVP Award (Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award) has been awarded to the best player of the Finals since 1968-69 season.

In 2009 assumed the name of Bill Russell, Boston Celtics’ legendary player and 11-time championship winner, who leads the all-time ranking.

Little facts about Finals MVP Award:

  • Jerry West, first winner of the trophy, is the only awarded player from the team which lost the Final Series (in 1969 the Lakers were defeated by the Celtics);
  • since 2011 the Award has been won only by forwards. The last guard awarded was Kobe Bryant in 2010 with the Lakers;
  • the youngest MVP Finals winner is Magic Johnson in 1980 (20 years old);
  • Tony Parker (in 2007) and Dirk Nowitzki (in 2011) are the only foreign players awarded;
  • Michael Jordan is the most MVP Finals awarded player (6);
  • Los Angeles Lakers is the franchise with most awarded players (13).

MVP Finals Winner

YearPlayerTeam
1969Jerry WestLos Angeles Lakers
1970Willis ReedNew York Knicks
1971Kareem Abdul-JabbarMilwaukee Bucks
1972Wilt ChamblerainLos Angeles Lakers
1973Willis ReedNew York Knicks
1974John HavlicekBoston Celtics
1975Rick BarryGolden State Warriors
1976Jo Jo WhiteBoston Celtics
1977Bill WaltonPortland Trail Blazers
1978Wes UnseldWashington Bullets
1979Dennis JohnsonSeattle Supersonics
1980Magic JohnsonLos Angeles Lakers
1981Cedric MaxwellBoston Celtics
1982Magic JohnsonLos Angeles Lakers
1983Moses MalonePhiladelphia 76ers
1984Larry BirdBoston Celtics
1985Kareem Abdul-JabbarLos Angeles Lakers
1986Larry BirdBoston Celtics
1987Magic JohnsonLos Angeles Lakers
1988James WorthyLos Angeles Lakers
1989Joe DumarsDetroit Pistons
1990Isiah ThomasDetroit Pistons
1991Michael JordanChicago Bulls
1992Michael JordanChicago Bulls
1993Michael JordanChicago Bulls
1994Hakeem OlajuwonHouston Rockets
1995Hakeem OlajuwonHouston Rockets
1996Michael JordanChicago Bulls
1997Michael JordanChicago Bulls
1998Michael JordanChicago Bulls
1999Tim DuncanSan Antonio Spurs
2000Shaquille O’NealLos Angeles Lakers
2001Shaquille O’NealLos Angeles Lakers
2002Shaquille O’NealLos Angeles Lakers
2003Tim DuncanSan Antonio Spurs
2004Chauncey BillupsDetroit Pistons
2005Tim DuncanSan Antonio Spurs
2006Dwyane WadeMiami Heat
2007Tony ParkerSan Antonio Spurs
2008Paul PierceBoston Celtics
2009Kobe BryantLos Angeles Lakers
2010Kobe BryantLos Angeles Lakers
2011Dirk NowitzkiDallas Mavericks
2012LeBron JamesMiami Heat
2013LeBron JamesMiami Heat
2014Kawhi LeonardSan Antonio Spurs
2015Andre IguodalaGolden State Warriors
2016LeBron JamesCleveland Cavaliers
2017Kevin DurantGolden State Warriors
2018Kevin DurantGolden State Warriors
2019Kawhi LeonardToronto Raptors
2020LeBron JamesLos Angeles Lakers
Active players in bold

Multiple-awarded Players

#PlayerAwardsYears
1Michael Jordan61991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998
2LeBron James42012, 2013, 2016, 2020
3Magic Johnson31980, 1982, 1987
Shaquille O’Neal32000, 2001, 2002
Tim Duncan31999, 2003, 2005
6Willis Reed21970, 1973
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar21971, 1985
Larry Bird21984, 1986
Hakeem Olajuwon21994, 1885
Kobe Bryant22009, 2010
Kevin Durant22017, 2018
Kawhi Leonard22014, 2019
Active players in bold

Multiple-awarded Franchises

#FranchiseAwards
1Los Angeles Lakers13
2Boston Celtics6
Chicago Bulls6
4San Antonio Spurs5
5Golden State Warriors3
6Detroit Pistons3
Miami Heat3
8New York Knicks2
Houston Rockets2

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