The NBA Finals is the final hurdle between a basketball team and a championship ring. The magnitude of the moment inspires players to elevate their games to new heights, resulting in breathtaking performances and iconic moments. The great ones achieve immortality by leading their teams to a title and winning the Finals MVP award in the process.
Statistics are a useful tool for evaluating an MVP's performance, though they do not tell the whole story. Great players affect the outcome of games in a variety of ways that do not show up in box scores, and statistics often do not adequately account for specific game situations.
It is also important to examine a player's productivity in relation to the quality of his competition. I considered both the player's individual matchups in the Finals, as well as the overall capacity of the teams he faced.
Another factor worth contemplating is the level of talent each MVP had around him. It is more challenging for a great player to lead his team to a championship when he does not have other superstars to help carry the load.