NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award

The Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award (formerly known as the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award) is an annual National Basketball Association (NBA) award given since the 1969 NBA Finals. The award is decided by a panel of eleven media members, who cast votes after the conclusion of the Finals. The person with the highest number of votes wins the award.[1] The award was originally a black trophy with a gold basketball-shaped sphere at the top, similar to the Larry O'Brien Trophy, until a new trophy was introduced in 2005 to commemorate Bill Russell.[2][3]

Since its inception, the award has been given to 31 players. Michael Jordan is a record six-time award winner.[4] Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, Tim Duncan and LeBron James won the award three times in their careers. Jordan and O'Neal are the only players to win the award in three consecutive seasons (Jordan accomplished the feat on two separate occasions). Johnson is the only rookie ever to win the award,[5] as well as the youngest at 20 years old.[6] Andre Iguodala is the only winner to have not started every game in the series.[7] Jerry West, the first ever awardee, is the only person to win the award while being on the losing team in the NBA Finals.[4] Willis Reed, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Hakeem Olajuwon, Kobe Bryant, Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant won the award twice. Olajuwon, Durant, Bryant, and James have won the award in two consecutive seasons. Abdul-Jabbar, James and Leonard are the only players to win the award for two teams, while Leonard is the only player to have won the award in both conferences. Olajuwon of Nigeria, who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1993, Tony Parker of France, and Dirk Nowitzki of Germany are the only international players to win the award. Duncan is an American citizen, but is considered an "international" player by the NBA because he was not born in one of the fifty states or Washington, D.C.[8] Parker and Nowitzki are the only winners to have been trained totally outside the U.S.; Olajuwon played college basketball at Houston and Duncan at Wake Forest. Cedric Maxwell is the only Finals MVP winner eligible for the Hall of Fame who has not been voted in.[9]

On February 14, 2009, during the 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend in Phoenix, then-NBA Commissioner David Stern announced that the award would be renamed the "Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award" in honor of 11-time NBA champion Bill Russell.[10]

Winners

Jerry West 1972.jpeg
Jerry West, the inaugural recipient, is the only player to win the award while being on the losing team.
Magic Lipofsky
Magic Johnson is the only player to win the award as a rookie.
Jordan by Lipofsky 16577
Michael Jordan has won the award a record six times.
Lipofsky Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille O'Neal is the only player other than Michael Jordan to have won the award three times consecutively.
Tony parker spurs vs wizards cropped
Tony Parker was the second player born outside the US to win the award, joining Hakeem Olajuwon.
LeBron James (15662939969)
LeBron James (pictured), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar & Kawhi Leonard are the only players to win the award for two teams.
^ Denotes player who is still active in the NBA
* Elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
§ Player's team lost the NBA Finals
Player (X) Denotes the number of times the player has received the Finals MVP award
Team (X) Denotes the number of times a player from this team has received the Finals MVP award
Year Player Position Nationality Team
1969 Jerry West* Guard  United States Los Angeles Lakers §
1970 Willis Reed* Center/Forward  United States New York Knicks
1971 Lew Alcindor*[a] Center  United States Milwaukee Bucks
1972 Wilt Chamberlain* Center  United States Los Angeles Lakers (2)
1973 Willis Reed* (2) Center/Forward  United States New York Knicks (2)
1974 John Havlicek* Forward/Guard  United States Boston Celtics
1975 Rick Barry* Forward  United States Golden State Warriors
1976 Jo Jo White* Guard  United States Boston Celtics (2)
1977 Bill Walton* Center  United States Portland Trail Blazers
1978 Wes Unseld* Center/Forward  United States Washington Bullets
1979 Dennis Johnson* Guard  United States Seattle SuperSonics
1980 Magic Johnson*[b] Guard  United States Los Angeles Lakers (3)
1981 Cedric Maxwell Forward  United States Boston Celtics (3)
1982 Magic Johnson* (2) Guard  United States Los Angeles Lakers (4)
1983 Moses Malone* Center  United States Philadelphia 76ers
1984 Larry Bird* Forward  United States Boston Celtics (4)
1985 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar*[c] (2) Center  United States Los Angeles Lakers (5)
1986 Larry Bird* (2) Forward  United States Boston Celtics (5)
1987 Magic Johnson* (3) Guard  United States Los Angeles Lakers (6)
1988 James Worthy* Forward  United States Los Angeles Lakers (7)
1989 Joe Dumars* Guard  United States Detroit Pistons
1990 Isiah Thomas* Guard  United States Detroit Pistons (2)
1991 Michael Jordan* Guard  United States Chicago Bulls
1992 Michael Jordan* (2) Guard  United States Chicago Bulls (2)
1993 Michael Jordan* (3) Guard  United States Chicago Bulls (3)
1994 Hakeem Olajuwon* Center  Nigeria[d] Houston Rockets
1995 Hakeem Olajuwon* (2) Center  Nigeria[d] Houston Rockets (2)
1996 Michael Jordan* (4) Guard  United States Chicago Bulls (4)
1997 Michael Jordan* (5) Guard  United States Chicago Bulls (5)
1998 Michael Jordan* (6) Guard  United States Chicago Bulls (6)
1999 Tim Duncan Forward/Center  United States[e] San Antonio Spurs
2000 Shaquille O'Neal* Center  United States Los Angeles Lakers (8)
2001 Shaquille O'Neal* (2) Center  United States Los Angeles Lakers (9)
2002 Shaquille O'Neal* (3) Center  United States Los Angeles Lakers (10)
2003 Tim Duncan (2) Forward/Center  United States[e] San Antonio Spurs (2)
2004 Chauncey Billups Guard  United States Detroit Pistons (3)
2005 Tim Duncan (3) Forward/Center  United States[e] San Antonio Spurs (3)
2006 Dwyane Wade Guard  United States Miami Heat
2007 Tony Parker Guard  France[f] San Antonio Spurs (4)
2008 Paul Pierce Forward  United States Boston Celtics (6)
2009 Kobe Bryant Guard  United States Los Angeles Lakers (11)
2010 Kobe Bryant (2) Guard  United States Los Angeles Lakers (12)
2011 Dirk Nowitzki Forward  Germany Dallas Mavericks
2012 LeBron James^ Forward  United States Miami Heat (2)
2013 LeBron James^ (2) Forward  United States Miami Heat (3)
2014 Kawhi Leonard^ Forward  United States San Antonio Spurs (5)
2015 Andre Iguodala^ Forward/Guard  United States Golden State Warriors (2)
2016 LeBron James^ (3) Forward  United States Cleveland Cavaliers
2017 Kevin Durant^ Forward  United States Golden State Warriors (3)
2018 Kevin Durant^ (2) Forward  United States Golden State Warriors (4)
2019 Kawhi Leonard^ (2) Forward  United States Toronto Raptors

Multiple-time winners

Player Team(s) No. Years
Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls 6 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998
Magic Johnson Los Angeles Lakers 3 1980, 1982, 1987
Shaquille O'Neal Los Angeles Lakers 2000, 2001, 2002
Tim Duncan San Antonio Spurs 1999, 2003, 2005
LeBron James Miami Heat (2), Cleveland Cavaliers (1) 2012, 2013, 2016
Willis Reed New York Knicks 2 1970, 1973
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers 1971, 1985
Larry Bird Boston Celtics 1984, 1986
Hakeem Olajuwon Houston Rockets 1994, 1995
Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers 2009, 2010
Kevin Durant Golden State Warriors 2017, 2018
Kawhi Leonard San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors 2014, 2019

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Before the 1971–72 season, Lew Alcindor changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.[11]
  2. ^ At 20 years and 276 days old, Johnson is the youngest Finals MVP winner in history.[12]
  3. ^ At 38 years and 54 days old, Abdul-Jabbar is the oldest Finals MVP winner in history.[13]
  4. ^ a b Hakeem Olajuwon was born in Nigeria, but became a naturalized United States citizen in 1993.[14]
  5. ^ a b c Because Tim Duncan is a United States citizen by birth, as are all natives of the U.S. Virgin Islands,[15] he was able to play for the U.S. internationally.[16]
  6. ^ Tony Parker was born in Belgium. He holds French citizenship and plays for their national team.[17]

References

General
  • "Finals Most Valuable Player". NBA/Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved July 14, 2008.
  • "Finals Most Valuable Players". ESPN. Retrieved July 15, 2008.
Specific
  1. ^ "Kevin Durant Wins 2017 NBA Finals MVP After Winning 1st Title with Warriors". Bleacher Report. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  2. ^ "Game 5 Notebook: Billups Wins MVP". NBA/Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved July 16, 2008.
  3. ^ "Spurs crowned NBA champions". CBC Sports. June 24, 2005. Retrieved July 16, 2008.
  4. ^ a b "Finals Most Valuable Player". NBA/Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved July 14, 2008.
  5. ^ "Magic Johnson Bio". NBA/Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved October 21, 2010.
  6. ^ Scott, Nate (June 16, 2014). "Kawhi Leonard is third youngest NBA Finals MVP ever". USA Today. Archived from the original on June 16, 2014.
  7. ^ Strauss, Ethan Sherwood (June 16, 2015). "Andre Iguodala named Finals MVP after coming off bench to begin series". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on June 17, 2015.
  8. ^ "Bargnani becomes first European top NBA draft pick". People's Daily Online. June 29, 2006. Retrieved June 16, 2008.
  9. ^ Spears, Marc J. (June 17, 2013). "Danny Green's rise from role player to NBA Finals juggernaut isn't the first of its kind". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  10. ^ "The Finals MVP to Receive Bill Russell MVP Award". NBA/Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. February 14, 2009. Archived from the original on February 17, 2009. Retrieved February 14, 2009.
  11. ^ "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Bio". NBA. Retrieved August 4, 2008.
  12. ^ "Magic Johnson 1979-80 Game Log". basketball-reference. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
  13. ^ "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 1984-85 Game Log". basketball-reference. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
  14. ^ "Hakeem Olajuwon Bio: 1992-93". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on May 16, 2008. Retrieved June 15, 2008.
  15. ^ "Virgin Islands". CIA World Factbook. Retrieved August 12, 2008.
  16. ^ "All-Time USA Basketball Men's Roster: D". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on August 28, 2009. Retrieved June 16, 2008.
  17. ^ "Parker will be speedy foe for Nets". Sports Illustrated. Time Warner Company. June 2, 2003. Retrieved October 17, 2010.
1968–69 Los Angeles Lakers season

The 1968–69 NBA season saw the Lakers acquire Wilt Chamberlain.

The Lakers would make it to the NBA Finals, but would lose to the Boston Celtics in seven games despite being the heavy favorites. This marked the Lakers' seventh consecutive defeat to the Celtics in the NBA Finals.

Jerry West, who averaged nearly 38 points a game in the Finals, won the Finals Most Valuable Player award, despite being on the losing team. This makes him the only NBA player in history to win the award with that distinguishment.

1969 NBA playoffs

The 1969 NBA playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1968–69 season. The tournament concluded with the Eastern Division champion Boston Celtics defeating the Western Division champion Los Angeles Lakers 4 games to 3 in the NBA Finals.

Despite finishing in 4th place, the Celtics won their second straight NBA title, marking their 11th overall as their era of 1960s dominance drew to a close. They upset Philadelphia and New York on the way to the Finals. Out west, the San Francisco Warriors stunned the Lakers by winning the first 2 in L.A., and Bay Area fans were thinking of avenging the prior year's sweep by the Lakers with a sweep of their own. But the Lakers won 4 straight to win the series in 6.

This year marked the debut of the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award; it was awarded to Jerry West of the Lakers, which marks the only time so far that the trophy has been given to a player on the losing team.

The Celtics were the first team seeded below third in their conference or division and win the NBA championship. It would not happen again until the 1995 NBA playoffs.The second-year San Diego Rockets made their first playoff appearance; the next time they appeared was in 1975 as the Houston Rockets.

1974–75 Golden State Warriors season

The 1974–75 Golden State Warriors season was the 29th season in the franchise's history, its 13th in California and the fourth playing in Oakland. After four seasons of second-place division finishes, the Warriors made various changes. Nate Thurmond was traded to the Chicago Bulls for Clifford Ray, a young defensive center. The club drafted Keith Wilkes (later known as Jamaal Wilkes), whose nickname was "Silk". Cazzie Russell had played out his option and joined the Los Angeles Lakers, leaving Rick Barry as the team's leader. Coach Al Attles implemented a team-oriented system that drew on the contributions of as many as ten players during a game. Barry scored 30.6 points per game, led the NBA in free throw percentage and steals per game, and was sixth in the league in assists per game. The Warriors captured the Pacific Division title with a 48–34 record.In the playoffs, the Warriors got to the Western Conference Finals by beating the Seattle SuperSonics in six games. In the Western Finals, the Warriors looked like they were about to lose to former teammate Nate Thurmond. The Warriors found themselves down against the Chicago Bulls 3 games to 2. The Warriors rallied to win Game 6 in Chicago and took the series with an 83–79 Game 7 triumph in Oakland. In the NBA Finals, the Warriors faced off against the Washington Bullets. The Warriors took the series in four straight games, including 1-point wins in Games 2 and 4. Rick Barry was named the series MVP.

The Warriors wouldn't make another NBA Finals appearance again until 2015, where the franchise won its fourth league title.

1981–82 Los Angeles Lakers season

The 1981–82 NBA season saw the Lakers win their eighth NBA championship.

1986–87 Los Angeles Lakers season

The 1986–87 Los Angeles Lakers season was the 41st season of the franchise, 39th in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and 27th in Los Angeles. Coming from a shocking defeat to the Houston Rockets in the previous season's Western Conference Finals in five games, where they won the first game, but proceeded to drop the next four, the Lakers avenged their playoff upset by making the NBA Finals for the sixth time in the 1980s. Prior to reaching the NBA Finals, in the playoffs, the Lakers swept the 1986-87 Denver Nuggets in three games in the First Round, defeated the Golden State Warriors in five games in the Semifinals, and swept the Seattle SuperSonics in four games in the Conference Finals. This team was named one of the 10 greatest teams in NBA history.

The highlight of the season saw the Lakers winning the NBA Finals, and their tenth NBA title over the defending NBA champions and rivals, the Boston Celtics, in six games. This marked the third and final time the Lakers and Celtics faced off against each other in the NBA Finals in the 1980s, as well as the last time the Lakers and Celtics faced off against each other in the NBA Finals until 2008, where the Celtics defeated the Lakers 4–2 to win their 17th NBA championship. The two teams would then meet again in 2010, where the Lakers defeated the Celtics 4–3 to win their 16th NBA championship.

Best NBA Player ESPY Award

The Best NBA Player ESPY Award is an award presented annually since 1993 to a National Basketball Association (NBA) player adjudged to be the best in a given year, typically the NBA season contested during or immediately before the holding of the ESPY Awards ceremony.

Between 1993 and 2004, the award voting panel comprised variously fans; sportswriters and broadcasters, sports executives, and retired sportspersons, termed collectively experts; and retired sportspersons, but balloting thereafter has been exclusively by fans over the Internet from amongst choices selected by the ESPN Select Nominating Committee.

Through the 2001 iteration of the ESPY Awards, ceremonies were conducted in February of each year to honor achievements over the previous calendar year; awards presented thereafter are conferred in June and reflect performance from the June previous. Six players have won the award more than once; Michael Jordan won the inaugural award and a total of four across his career. LeBron James has won the award a total of seven times, the most by any player, while Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Shaquille O'Neal have claimed two each.

Bill Russell

William Felton Russell (born February 12, 1934) is an American retired professional basketball player who played center for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1956 to 1969. A five-time NBA Most Valuable Player and a twelve-time All-Star, he was the centerpiece of the Celtics dynasty that won eleven NBA championships during his thirteen-year career. Russell and Henri Richard of the National Hockey League are tied for the record of the most championships won by an athlete in a North American sports league. Russell led the University of San Francisco to two consecutive NCAA championships in 1955 and 1956, and he captained the gold-medal winning U.S. national basketball team at the 1956 Summer Olympics.Bill Russell is regarded by many as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He is 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) tall, with a 7 ft 4 in (2.24 m) wingspan. His shot-blocking and man-to-man defense were major reasons for the Celtics' domination of the NBA during his career. Russell was equally notable for his rebounding abilities. He led the NBA in rebounds four times, had a dozen consecutive seasons of 1,000 or more rebounds, and remains second all-time in both total rebounds and rebounds per game. He is one of just two NBA players (the other being prominent rival Wilt Chamberlain) to have grabbed more than 50 rebounds in a game. Russell was never the focal point of the Celtics' offense, but he did score 14,522 career points and provided effective passing.

Russell played in the wake of black pioneers Earl Lloyd, Chuck Cooper, and Sweetwater Clifton, and he was the first black player to achieve superstar status in the NBA. He also served a three-season (1966–69) stint as player-coach for the Celtics, becoming the first black coach in North American professional sports and the first to win a championship. In 2011, Barack Obama awarded Russell the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his accomplishments on the court and in the Civil Rights Movement.Russell is one of seven players in history to win an NCAA Championship, an NBA Championship, and an Olympic gold medal. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. He was selected into the NBA 25th Anniversary Team in 1971 and the NBA 35th Anniversary Team in 1980, and named as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996, one of only four players to receive all three honors. In 2007, he was enshrined in the FIBA Hall of Fame. In Russell's honor the NBA renamed the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player trophy in 2009: it is now the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award.

Commissioner of the NBA

The Commissioner of the NBA is the chief executive of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The current commissioner is Adam Silver after he succeeded David Stern on February 1, 2014.

David Stern

David Joel Stern (born September 22, 1942) is an American businessman and lawyer who served as the fourth commissioner of the National Basketball Association. He started with the Association in 1966 as an outside counsel, joined the NBA in 1978 as General Counsel, and became the league's Executive Vice President in 1980. He became Commissioner in 1984, succeeding Larry O'Brien. He is credited with increasing the popularity of the NBA in the 1990s and 2000s.Stern has served on the Rutgers University Board of Overseers and is a Chair Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of Columbia University. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.On October 25, 2012, Stern announced that he would step down as NBA commissioner on February 1, 2014, 30 years to the day after beginning his tenure as commissioner. His deputy, Adam Silver, was his successor. At the time of his departure, he was the NBA's longest-serving commissioner. Stern received the Olympic Order in 2012. On February 14, 2014, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced that Stern would be a member of its 2014 induction class. In 2016, he became a member of the FIBA Hall of Fame.

Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Werner Nowitzki (German pronunciation: [ˈdɪʁk ˈvɛʁnɐ noˈvɪtski]) (born June 19, 1978) is a German retired professional basketball player. An alumnus of Röntgen Gymnasium and the DJK Würzburg basketball club, Nowitzki was chosen as the ninth pick in the 1998 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks and was immediately traded to the Dallas Mavericks, where he played his entire 21-year National Basketball Association (NBA) career. In the NBA, he won the league Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in 2007, was an NBA champion in 2011, and was a 14-time All-Star.

Listed at 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m), Nowitzki is widely regarded as one of the greatest power forwards of all time and he is considered by many to be the greatest European player of all time. Nowitzki has led the Mavericks to 15 NBA playoff appearances (2001–2012; 2014–2016), including the franchise's first Finals appearance in 2006 and its only NBA championship in 2011. Known for his scoring ability, his versatility, his accurate outside shooting, and his trademark fadeaway jump shot, Nowitzki won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award in 2007 and the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in 2011.

Nowitzki's NBA career has been filled with accomplishments. He is the only player ever to play for a single franchise for 21 seasons. Nowitzki is a 14-time All-Star, a 12-time All-NBA Team member, the first European player to start in an All-Star Game, and the first European player to receive the NBA Most Valuable Player Award. Nowitzki is the highest-scoring foreign-born player in NBA history. He is the first Maverick voted onto an All-NBA Team and holds several all-time Mavericks franchise records. On December 10, 2012, he became the first non-American player to receive the Naismith Legacy Award. As of March 18, 2019, Nowitzki stood sixth on the list of National Basketball Association career scoring leaders.Nowitzki's career in international play is also noteworthy. He led the German national basketball team to a bronze medal in the 2002 FIBA World Championship and silver in EuroBasket 2005, and was the leading scorer and MVP in both tournaments.

List of Cleveland Cavaliers seasons

The Cleveland Cavaliers (also known as the Cavs) are an American professional basketball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. They began playing in the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1970. This list summarizes the team's season-by-season records, including post-season, and includes select season-end awards won by the team's players and/or coaches. The Cavaliers were founded in 1970 as an expansion franchise and since their first season, they have always played in the Central Division and in the Eastern Conference.On October 14, 1970, the Cavs lost to the Buffalo Braves 92–107 in their first game. They have been awarded the first overall draft pick six times, choosing Austin Carr (1971), Brad Daugherty (1986), LeBron James (2003), Kyrie Irving (2011), Anthony Bennett (2013) and Andrew Wiggins (2014). In his last season with the Cavs, Austin Carr won the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, the first of four Cavaliers to win the award (Eric Snow, Luol Deng and LeBron James won the award in 2005, 2014 and 2017, respectively). As a Cavalier, LeBron won Rookie of the Year as well as four MVP awards and two All Star Game MVP awards. He also led the Cavaliers to five NBA Finals, including the last 4 straight, and won the 2016 title as Finals MVP. Cleveland's next first overall pick after James, Kyrie Irving, won Rookie of the Year in 2012 and NBA All-Star Game MVP in 2014.In their 48 seasons, the Cavs have achieved a winning record 23 times. Highlights include 20 playoff appearances, which included winning the Central Division championship six times (1975–76, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17, and 2017–18), winning the Eastern Conference championship five times (2006–07, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17, and 2017–18), and winning the NBA Title in 2016. In five straight playoff appearances with LeBron James in his first tenure with Cleveland, the Cavs won more playoff games than they lost each season, something they only ever managed, barely, once before, in the 1991–92 season. Overall, their winning percentage through the years is .456, with 1660 wins and 1967 losses in regular season play (as of March 13, 2015). They are 84 and 84 in the playoffs, a winning percentage of .500. Cleveland's 2016 championship meant that the Eastern Conference's Central Division is the only current NBA division with more than 3 franchises that have won NBA titles (Cleveland joined Chicago, Detroit, and Milwaukee as teams with at least one championship).

List of NBA champions

The National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals is the championship series for the NBA and the conclusion of its postseason. All Finals have been played in a best-of-seven format, and are contested between the winners of the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference (formerly Divisions before 1970), except in 1950 when the Eastern Division champion faced the winner between the Western and Central Division champions. From 1946 through 1949, when the league was known as the Basketball Association of America (BAA), the playoffs were a three-stage tournament where the two semifinal winners played each other in the finals. The winning team of the series receives the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy.

The current home-and-away format in the NBA Finals is 2–2–1–1–1 (the team with the better regular-season record plays on their home court in Games 1, 2, 5, and 7), which has been used in 1947–1948, 1950–1952, 1957–1970, 1972–1974, 1976–1977, 1979–1984, and 2014–present. It was previously in a 2–3–2 format (the team with the better regular season record plays on their home court in Games 1, 2, 6, and 7) during 1949, 1953–1955, and 1985–2013, in a 1–1–1–1–1–1–1 format during 1956 and 1971, and in a 1–2–2–1–1 format during 1975 and 1978.The Eastern Conference/Division leads the Western Conference/Division in series won (39–34). The defunct Central Division, in existence during the 1949–50 NBA season when the NBA was divided into three divisions and different from the current Central Division created in 1970 when the then existing Eastern Division was upgraded as a conference, won one championship. The Boston Celtics and the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers alone own almost half of the titles, having won a combined 33 of 73 championships. As of 2019, the defending champions are the Toronto Raptors, making history as the first team from outside of the United States to win.

List of career achievements by Magic Johnson

This page details the career achievements of Basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson. He is a member of NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team and is widely considered to be the greatest point guard of all-time with

Magic Johnson

Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. (born August 14, 1959) is an American retired professional basketball player and former president of basketball operations of the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played point guard for the Lakers for 13 seasons. After winning championships in high school and college, Johnson was selected first overall in the 1979 NBA draft by the Lakers. 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. Johnson retired abruptly in 1991 after announcing that he had contracted HIV, but returned to play in the 1992 All-Star Game, winning the All-Star MVP Award. After protests from his fellow players, he retired again for four years, but returned in 1996, at age 36, to play 32 games for the Lakers before retiring for the third and final time.

Johnson's career achievements include three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finals appearances, twelve All-Star games, and ten All-NBA First and Second Team nominations. He led the league in regular-season assists four times, and is the NBA's all-time leader in average assists per game, at 11.2. Johnson was a member of the 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team ("The Dream Team"), which won the Olympic gold medal in 1992. After leaving the NBA in 1992, Johnson formed the Magic Johnson All-Stars, a barnstorming team that travelled around the world playing exhibition games. Johnson was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996.

Johnson became a two-time inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame—being enshrined in 2002 for his individual career, and again in 2010 as a member of the "Dream Team". He was rated the greatest NBA point guard of all time by ESPN in 2007. His friendship and rivalry with Boston Celtics star Larry Bird, whom he faced in the 1979 NCAA finals and three NBA championship series, are well documented.

Since his retirement, Johnson has been an advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention and safe sex, as well as an entrepreneur, philanthropist, broadcaster and motivational speaker. His public announcement of his HIV-positive status in 1991 helped dispel the stereotype, still widely held at the time, that HIV was a "gay disease" that heterosexuals need not worry about; his bravery in making this announcement was widely commended. Named by Ebony magazine as one of America's most influential black businessmen in 2009, Johnson has numerous business interests, and was a part-owner of the Lakers for several years. Johnson also is part of a group of investors that purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012 and the Los Angeles Sparks in 2014.

NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award

The National Basketball Association All-Star Game Most Valuable Player (MVP) is an annual National Basketball Association (NBA) award given to the player(s) voted best of the annual All-Star Game. The award was established in 1953 when NBA officials decided to designate an MVP for each year's game. The league also re-honored players from the previous two All-Star Games. Ed Macauley and Paul Arizin were selected as the 1951 and 1952 MVP winners respectively. The voting is conducted by a panel of media members, who cast their vote after the conclusion of the game. The player(s) with the most votes or ties for the most votes wins the award. No All-Star Game MVP was named in 1999 since the game was canceled due to the league's lockout. As of 2019, the most recent recipient is Golden State Warrior forward Kevin Durant.

Bob Pettit and Kobe Bryant are the only two players to win the All-Star Game MVP four times. Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, and LeBron James have each won the award three times, while Bob Cousy, Julius Erving, Isiah Thomas, Magic Johnson, Karl Malone, Allen Iverson, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Durant have all won the award twice. James' first All-Star MVP in 2006 made him the youngest to have ever won the award at the age of 21 years, 1 month. Kyrie Irving, winner of the 2014 All-Star Game MVP, is the second-youngest at 21 years, 10 months. They are notable as being the two youngest to win the award, both as Cleveland Cavaliers. Four of the games had joint winners—Elgin Baylor and Pettit in 1959, John Stockton and Malone in 1993, O'Neal and Tim Duncan in 2000, and O'Neal and Bryant in 2009. O'Neal became the first player in All-Star history to share two MVP awards as well as the first player to win the award with multiple teams. The Los Angeles Lakers have had eleven winners while the Boston Celtics have had eight. Duncan of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Irving of Australia are the only winners not born in the United States. Both Duncan and Irving are American citizens, but are considered "international" players by the NBA because they were not born in one of the fifty states or Washington, D.C. No player trained entirely outside the U.S. has won the award; Irving lived in the U.S. since age two, and Duncan played U.S. college basketball at Wake Forest.

Bob Pettit (1958, 1959) and Russell Westbrook (2015, 2016) are the only players to win consecutive awards. Pettit (1956), Bob Cousy (1957), Wilt Chamberlain (1960), Bill Russell (1963), Oscar Robertson (1964), Willis Reed (1970), Dave Cowens (1973), Michael Jordan (1988, 1996, 1998), Magic Johnson (1990), Shaquille O'Neal (2000), and Allen Iverson (2001) all won the All-Star Game MVP and the NBA Most Valuable Player Award in the same season; Jordan is the only player to do this multiple times. 14 players have won the award playing for the team that hosted the All-Star Game: Macauley (1951), Cousy (1957), Pettit (1958, 1962), Chamberlain (1960), Adrian Smith (1966), Rick Barry (1967), Jerry West (1972), Tom Chambers (1987), Michael Jordan (1988), Karl Malone (1993), John Stockton (1993), O'Neal (2004, 2009), Bryant (2011) and Davis (2017); Pettit and O'Neal did this multiple times. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has the distinction of playing in the most All-Star Games (18) without winning the All-Star Game MVP, while Adrian Smith won the MVP in his only All-Star Game.

NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award

The NBA's Defensive Player of the Year Award is an annual National Basketball Association (NBA) award given since the 1982–83 NBA season to the best defensive player of the regular season. The winner is selected by a panel of 124 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada, each of whom casts a vote for first, second and third place selections. Each first-place vote is worth five points, second-place voted are worth three points, and a third-place vote is worth one. The player with the highest point total, regardless of the number of first-place votes, wins the award.Since its inception, the award has been given to 21 different players. Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace have each won the award a record four times. Dwight Howard is the only player to have won the award in three consecutive seasons. Sidney Moncrief, Mark Eaton, Dennis Rodman, Hakeem Olajuwon, Alonzo Mourning, Kawhi Leonard, and Rudy Gobert have each won it twice. The most recent award recipient is Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz.

Although five of the first six winners were perimeter players, the award has traditionally been given to big men who rebound and block shots. Only seven perimeter players have been honored: Moncrief, Alvin Robertson, Michael Cooper, Michael Jordan, Gary Payton, Ron Artest (known now as Metta World Peace), and Kawhi Leonard. Payton is the only point guard to have won. Jordan, Olajuwon, David Robinson, and Kevin Garnett are the only Defensive Player of the Year winners to have won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) during their careers; Jordan and Olajuwon won both awards in the same season. In Olajuwon's case, he is the only one to have also won the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award and the NBA championship in the same season. On four occasions, the Defensive Player of the Year recipient was not voted to the NBA All-Defensive First Team in the same year. Robertson in 1986, Mutombo (1995), Tyson Chandler (2012), and Marc Gasol (2013) were instead named to the second team. Whereas the Defensive Player of the Year is voted on by the media, the All-Defensive teams were voted on by NBA coaches prior to 2014.Frenchman Rudy Gobert is the only winner who was trained completely outside the U.S. Out of the other three winners born outside the U.S., Mutombo and Olajuwon both played U.S. college basketball, and Gasol played U.S. high school basketball. Joakim Noah, who has played for the French national team, was born in New York City and played both high school and college basketball in the U.S.

NBA G League Finals Most Valuable Player Award

The NBA G League Finals Most Valuable Player is an annual award given by the NBA G League since 2015, when the competition was known as the NBA Development League (D-League), to the best performing player of the championship series. Elliot Williams of the Santa Cruz Warriors was named the inaugural winner of the award after leading the Warriors to a 2–0 Finals series victory over the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in 2015.

NBA Most Valuable Player Award

The National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) is an annual National Basketball Association (NBA) award given since the 1955–56 season to the best performing player of the regular season. The winner receives the Maurice Podoloff Trophy, which is named in honor of the first commissioner (then president) of the NBA, who served from 1946 until 1963. Until the 1979–80 season, the MVP was selected by a vote of NBA players. Since the 1980–81 season, the award is decided by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada.

Each member of the voting panel casts a vote for first to fifth place selections. Each first-place vote is worth 10 points; each second-place vote is worth seven; each third-place vote is worth five, fourth-place is worth three and fifth-place is worth one. Starting from 2010, one ballot was cast by fans through online voting. The player with the highest point total wins the award. As of June 2019, the current holder of the award is Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Every player who has won this award and has been eligible for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has been inducted. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won the award a record six times. He is also the only player to win the award despite his team not making the playoffs back in the 1975–76 season. Both Bill Russell and Michael Jordan won the award five times, while Wilt Chamberlain and LeBron James won the award four times. Russell and James are the only players to have won the award four times in five seasons. Moses Malone, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson each won the award three times, while Bob Pettit, Karl Malone, Tim Duncan, Steve Nash and Stephen Curry have each won it twice. Only two rookies have won the award: Chamberlain in the 1959–60 season and Wes Unseld in the 1968–69 season. Hakeem Olajuwon of Nigeria, Duncan of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Nash of Canada, Dirk Nowitzki of Germany, and Giannis Antetokounmpo of Greece are the only MVP winners considered "international players" by the NBA.Curry in 2015–16 is the only player to have won the award unanimously. Shaquille O'Neal in 1999–2000 and 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. Since the 1975–76 season, only two players have been named MVP for a season in which their team failed to win at least 50 regular-season games—Moses Malone (twice, 1978–79 and 1981–82) and Russell Westbrook (2016–17).

National Basketball Association

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a men's professional basketball league in North America, composed of 30 teams (29 in the United States and 1 in Canada). It is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada, and is widely considered to be the premier men's professional basketball league in the world.

The league was founded in New York City on June 6, 1946, as the Basketball Association of America (BAA). It changed its the name to the National Basketball Association on August 3, 1949, after merging with the competing National Basketball League (NBL). The NBA's regular season runs from October to April, with each team playing 82 games. Its playoffs extend into June. NBA players are the world's best paid athletes by average annual salary per player.The NBA is an active member of USA Basketball (USAB), which is recognized by FIBA (also known as the International Basketball Federation) as the national governing body for basketball in the United States. The league's several international as well as individual team offices are directed out of its head offices in Midtown Manhattan, while its NBA Entertainment and NBA TV studios are directed out of offices located in Secaucus, New Jersey.

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NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award
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