Every season the NBA announces the league’s most valuable player, also known as the MVP. A voting panel made up of 100 sportswriters and media members who have no affiliation with a team decide each year. Each member will cast a vote for their top five with each place worth a different amount of points. The player with the most points wins the title.
To receive the award, you must show great skill, teamwork and effort in the regular season. Due to the nature of the sport, the award typically comes from a team who reach the NBA Finals. But, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar proved this is not always the case when he won the award in 1976 even though the Los Angeles Lakers failed to make the playoffs.
Winning the title is a great honour, but to achieve the award multiple times is a testament to a player’s legacy. Let’s take a look at those who have cemented themselves in the history books.
At the top of the list is Abdul-Jabbar, the greatest of all time with six MVP awards. Three with the Milwaukee Bucks, and three with the Lakers from 1971 to 1980. An incredible player, you only have to mention his name for fans to start reminiscing about his trademark ‘skyhook’ shot.
He holds the record for the most points scored in a career with 38,387 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995. He now focusses on coaching, where he has worked with the Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers and Seattle SuperSonics.
From 1958 to 1965, Russell won five MVP awards with the Boston Celtics. Playing as a center, he was a vital player in the squad. Russell won an NBA championship every year of his career except for the 1957-58 and the 1966-67 seasons.
In his last two seasons of winning an NBA championship, Russell was a player-coach, this projected the next stage of his career after retiring from the court. The American went on to coach the Seattle SuperSonics and the Sacramento Kings before retiring from the world of basketball in 1988.
In 2006, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Then in 2009, he was acknowledged for his achievements as the ‘NBA Finals MVP Award’ was named after the 11-time NBA champion.
One of the most memorable players in recent history is Jordan. Since his playing days, the 6’ 6” giant has released his own brand of athletics apparel and sneakers, but Jordan will be most remembered for his days as a shooting guard. Jordan won his five MVP titles with the Chicago Bulls from 1988 to 1998.
Not only does Jordan have success in the NBA, but he also won two gold medals at the 1984 and 1992 Olympic Games. He was also the leading goalscorer over 10 seasons from 1986 to 1990, and he received the Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2016.
Beyond our top three most valued players of all time, others have made their mark on history. Wilt Chamberlain and LeBron James both hold four MVP awards. But, if you enjoy NBA betting with real money, you’ll find odds of 11/2 for James to win a fifth title this season. Moses Malone, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson all collected three MVP awards throughout their careers.
Whereas Bob Pettit, Karl Malone, Tim Duncan, Steve Nash and Stephen Curry all have two awards. Although Curry has the chance to increase his tally, as he is still an active Golden State Warriors player.