Ranking Every Single NBA Regular Season MVP

John Friel@@JohnFtheheatgodAnalyst INovember 1, 2011

Ranking Every Single NBA Regular Season MVP

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    The NBA MVP has become one of the most highly debated topics following the conclusion of the regular season.

    Unlike its sporting counterparts, the MLB or NHL (which will reward the player with the greatest individual stats), the NBA creates a greater focus on how that individual impacted the overall outlook of their team.

    There will be players with greater statistics than the MVP, but they won't win the majority of the time because the MVP was able to lead their team to 55 or more wins.

    It's an interesting system and it definitely enhances the meaning of the word "valuable." Rather than giving it to the most outstanding player, the award will be given to the player who was the most valuable to his team.

    Usually, it will be given to the best player on the best team. Last year Derrick Rose won the MVP as the best player on the Chicago Bulls, the team with the best record at the end of the season.

    I took the same approach to these rankings as the NBA voters do, by putting more emphasis on the overall achievements of each player's team rather than just solely focusing on their individual statistics.

    So, without further interruption, let's get into these rankings of every single MVP award ever given out over the past 56 years.

     

    *Lead photo courtesy of Big boy's neighborhood

No. 56: Steve Nash, 2006

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    Stats: 18.8 ppg, 10.5 apg and 4.2 rpg

    How his team fared: 54-28 

     

    This MVP award of Steve Nash's is the one that could be argued. After leading the Phoenix Suns to 62 wins and the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference the year before, Nash posted similar stats, but only led the Suns to 54 wins.

    Critics will argue that Kobe Bryant was the far more deserving recipient of the award, considering he averaged 35 points per game while also scoring an absurd 81 points in one game.

    Nevertheless, Nash was still a prolific offensive facilitator as he once again led the Suns to an impressive regular season campaign to go along with another deep postseason run.

No. 55: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 1976

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    Stats: 27.7 ppg, 16.9 rpg, 5 apg and 4.1 bpg

    How his team fared: 40-42 

     

    The second and last player to win an MVP award despite being on a team that finished under .500, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar would help restart the Los Angeles Lakers dynasty after missing their first postseason since 1958.

    He would lead the team to a 10-game improvement from the year before while also leading the league in rebounds and blocks per.

    Abdul-Jabbar's famed sky hook and incredible defensive skills would begin to take focus in a larger market.

No. 54: Bob Pettit, 1956

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    Stats: 25.7 ppg, 16.2 rpg and 2.6 apg

    How his team fared: 33-39 

     

    The first NBA MVP, the St. Louis Hawks' power forward Bob Pettit was the first player to receive the prestigious award after posting a second consecutive double-double average in only his second season in the league.

    Perhaps the most intriguing stat is that Pettit's Hawks finished a lowly 33-39 and he still managed to take home the award. It seems as if the MVP award was first handed out to the overall best player in the NBA and not the best player on the best team as it is today.

No. 53: Moses Malone, 1979

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    Stats: 24.8 ppg, 17.6 rpg and 1.8 apg

    How his team fared: 47-35 

     

    One of the most underrated players to ever play the game, Moses Malone would take home his first of three MVP awards in only his third year as a member of the NBA after spending his first two seasons in the ABA.

    Malone would lead the league in rebounding while also averaging an absurd seven offensive rebounds per. He was one of the league's most dominant centers, as he used his wide, muscular frame to establish himself as an elite post presence.

No. 52: Derrick Rose, 2011

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    Stats: 25 ppg, 7.7 apg and 4.1 rpg

    How his team fared: 62-20 

     

    The youngest player to ever win the prestigious award, Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose only needed three years before he took his first MVP.

    By averaging career highs in just about every statistical category, Rose was able to lead the Chicago Bulls to the NBA's top record, the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and their deepest postseason run since the Michael Jordan era.

    Not bad for a 22-year-old.

No. 51: Karl Malone, 1997

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    Stats: 27.4 ppg, 9.9 rpg and 4.5 apg

    How his team fared: 64-18 

     

    It's still heavily debated as to how Karl Malone won the MVP award over Michael Jordan despite the former having superior stats on a better team.

    Not to knock Malone though, as he and the Utah Jazz absolutely dominated the Western Conference on their way to their first ever NBA Finals appearance.

    Coupled with an unbelievable amount of strength and athleticism, Malone would post some impressive stats while leading the Jazz to their best record in franchise history.

No. 50: Julius Erving, 1981

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    Stats: 24.6 ppg, 8 rpg, 4.4 apg and 2.1 spg

    How his team fared: 62-20 

     

    Whether it was in the ABA or the NBA, Julius Erving still knew how to make his presence felt as one of the league's top players.

    After winning three consecutive ABA MVPs between 1973 and 1976, Erving would take home his first and last NBA MVP in 1981. In an impressive campaign, he posted solid stats while also leading his Philadelphia 76ers to a 62-20 record.

No. 49: Steve Nash, 2005

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    Stats: 15.5 ppg, 11.5 apg and 3.3 rpg

    How his team fared: 62-20 

     

    The first of two consecutive MVPs for Nash, this was one of the most controversial decisions ever upheld in the NBA.

    Not to say Nash wasn't a quality MVP, it's just that his stats were so unlike an MVP's that it raised concern over just how the award was given.

    The problem for the skeptics was that Nash did deserve the MVP—he completely changed the outlook of the Phoenix Suns franchise and led the team to one of their best regular seasons in franchise history while also making them a championship contender once again.

No. 48: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 1977

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    Stats: 26.2 ppg, 13.3 rpg, 3.9 apg and 3.2 bpg

    How his team fared: 53-29 

     

    A 13-game improvement from the previous year, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar would steadily begin to lead the Los Angeles Lakers back as an elite team and a perennial postseason contender.

    Abdul-Jabbar would once again average a ludicrous stat line while leading the Lakers to an impressive 53-29 record. He would also lead the league in field-goal percentage at 58 percent.

No. 47: Bob McAdoo, 1975

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    Stats: 34.5 ppg, 14.1 rpg, 2.2 apg and 2.1 bpg

    How his team fared: 49-33 

     

    Interrupting Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's streak of MVPs would be the Buffalo Braves' offensive juggernaut of a forward in Bob McAdoo.

    McAdoo was only in his third year when he won the award. He led the league in scoring for the second of three consecutive years while also setting his career high in points per game at nearly 35 per.

No. 46: Bill Russell, 1958

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    Stats: 16.6 ppg, 22.7 rpg, and 2.9 apg

    How his team fared: 49-23 

     

    The first of many MVPs, Bill Russell would take his in only his second season after leading the league in rebounding and helping to lead the Celtics to an impressive 49-23 record.

    Early on in his career, Russell established himself as one of the league's premier defenders and would even revolutionize the art of post defense and shot-blocking.

No. 45: Kobe Bryant, 2008

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    Stats: 28.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg, and 5.4 apg 

    How his team fared: 57-25 

     

    Finally winning an MVP after over a decade's worth of basketball, Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant took home the award after leading his team to their best record since the Shaquille O'Neal era.

    It definitely helped that Pau Gasol was now playing alongside him, but, nonetheless, it was still a deserved MVP for one of the league's greatest players.

    Bryant is one of the league's greatest leaders as well as one of its best all-around threats on offense and defense. Winning an MVP in 2008 was long overdue for the Lakers legend.

No. 44: Bill Walton, 1978

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    Stats: 18.9 ppg, 13.2 rpg, 5 apg, and 2.5 bpg

    How his team fared: 58-24 

     

    Denying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar a third consecutive MVP would be Portland Trail Blazer Bill Walton, the first and last Trail Blazer to win the coveted award.

    Walton only played in 58 games in 1978, but his impressive stat line and elite defensive skills were enough to give the big man his first and only MVP.

    This would be his final season as a member of the Blazers and it would also be one of his last somewhat healthy years while still in his prime.

No. 43: Bill Russell, 1961

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    Stats: 16.9 ppg, 23.9 rpg, and 3.4 apg

    How his team fared: 57-22 

     

    The first of three consecutive MVPs that he'd take home, Bill Russell would once again help the Boston Celtics reign supreme with an impressive record and an eventual NBA title.

    Russell was only in his fifth year when he took home his second MVP.

No. 42: Charles Barkley, 1993

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    Stats: 25.6 ppg, 12.2 rpg, and 5.1 apg

    How his team fared: 62-20 

     

    Attempting to deviate from awarding yet another MVP to Michael Jordan, the NBA decided to take a different route by handing the MVP to Phoenix Suns power forward Charles Barkley.

    An unbelievable rebounder for a player at 6'6", Barkley would lead the Suns to their first title appearance since 1976 and would even challenge the Chicago Bulls before bowing out in Game 6.

    This was Barkley's first season with the Suns, leading the team as far as the NBA finals, after averaging near career highs in all statistical categories.

No. 41: Dirk Nowitzki, 2007

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    Stats: 24.6 ppg, 8.9 rpg and 3.4 apg

    How his team fared: 67-15 

     

    The first European to take home the MVP, Dirk Nowitzki won the prestigious award after leading his Dallas Mavericks to a franchise and NBA best 67 wins and a No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.

    Even though the Mavericks would bow out in the first round, Nowitzki did deserve the MVP since he was the best player on the best team in the league. With an unstoppable jump shot attached to a 7' frame, defending Nowitzki is still one of the most difficult assignments you could possibly draw.

No. 40: Bill Russell, 1963

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    Stats: 16.8 ppg, 23.6 rpg and 4.5 apg 

    How his team fared: 58-22 

     

    Winning his third consecutive MVP, Bill Russell had inferior stats to Wilt Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson. But he was leading his team to the best record and a championship year after year, allowing him to take home all of these MVPs year after year.

    Russell matched his rebounding and assist output from the year before with only a minor drop in his points per game.

No. 39: Tim Duncan, 2003

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    Stats: 23.3 ppg, 12.9 rpg, 3.9 apg and 2.9 bpg

    How his team fared: 60-22 

     

    Winning his second consecutive MVP while leading the San Antonio Spurs to their second title in franchise history, Tim Duncan would once again establish himself as the league's top player thanks to the fundamental and methodical approach he brought to every game.

    The 60 games the Spurs won was the second most in franchise history. Duncan once again dominated on both sides of the ball to take home another deserved MVP award.

No. 38: Hakeem Olajuwon, 1994

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    Stats: 27.3 ppg, 11.9 rpg, 3.6 apg and 3.7 bpg

    How his team fared: 58-24 

     

    Equipped with one of the most deadly moves in NBA history, "the Dream Shake," Houston Rockets center Hakeem Olajuwon had no trouble winning the MVP.

    He led the Rockets to their first ever championship, with the absence of Michael Jordan paying off dividends for teams that couldn't triumph over him and the Bulls.

    Olajuwon was absolutely dominant in 1994, as he averaged a then-career high in points while leading the Rockets to one of the league's top records.

    His offensive skills were on point as usual, but it was his defensive skills that warranted Olajuwon so much praise.

No. 37: Kevin Garnett, 2004

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    Stats: 24.2 ppg, 13.9 rpg, 5 apg and 2.2 bpg

    How his team fared: 58-24 

     

    When your second best player is Sam Cassell and you're leading your team to 58 wins, an MVP is the least you deserve.

    That's what Kevin Garnett was able to accomplish while still a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves. As one of the league's most intense and emotional players, Garnett was able to establish himself as a feared and dominant player in the post.

    Equipped with a wide array of post moves, a consistent mid-range game and an unbelievably intense defensive game, Garnett's MVP was long overdue.

No. 36: Moses Malone, 1982

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    Stats: 31.1 ppg, 14.7 rpg and 1.8 apg

    How his team fared: 46-36 

     

    His final year in a Houston Rockets uniform, Moses Malone left with a bang by winning his second career MVP.

    Malone was as dominant as ever in 1982, as he averaged a career high in points per game while also leading the league in rebounds per. The most eye-popping stat is that Malone was able to take home the MVP despite his Rockets only finishing 46-36.

No. 35: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 1980

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    Stats: 24.8 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 4.5 apg and 3.4 bpg

    How his team fared: 60-22 

     

    The last of six MVPs, the 7'2" Kareem Abdul-Jabbar would help lead the Los Angeles Lakers to another impressive regular season campaign, capping it off with the team's first championship since 1972.

    Abdul-Jabbar would lead the league in blocks per, while again averaging a double-double for the 11th consecutive season.

No. 34: Willis Reed, 1970

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    Stats: 21.7 ppg, 13.9 rpg and 2 apg

    How his team fared: 60-22 

     

    Hitting the most significant four points in NBA finals history, Willis Reed would be the first and only New York Knick to take home the MVP after averaging impressive numbers while leading his team to an impressive record.

    Aside from his MVP, people will most remember Reed in Game 7 of the NBA finals. He played the first few minutes and scored the game's first four points, despite playing on a torn leg muscle.

No. 33: Magic Johnson, 1990

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    Stats: 22.3 ppg, 11.5 apg and 6.6 rpg

    How his team fared: 63-19 

     

    Only two years before his retirement, Magic Johnson won his final MVP in 1990 after leading the Los Angeles Lakers to one of their most impressive regular season records at 63-19.

    Johnson's stats were on par with what he usually averaged, but this was also the first time in four years that he and the Lakers failed to make it to the NBA finals.

No. 32: David Robinson, 1995

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    Stats: 27.6 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 2.9 apg and 3.2 bpg

    How his team fared: 62-20 

     

    Once again taking advantage of the absence of Michael Jordan, San Antonio Spurs center David Robinson took home the 1995 MVP after leading his team to a stellar regular season campaign while posting up some stellar stats of his own.

    One of the strongest post players on both sides of the ball, Robinson was an absolute force to contain. He was too tall and too wide to contain on offense, leading to a number of easy post-ups for the Navy grad. He was also too lengthy and wide for any player to slip by him in the post.

No. 31: Allen Iverson, 2001

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    Stats: 31.1 ppg, 4.7 apg, 3.8 rpg and 2.1 spg

    How his team fared: 56-26 

     

    One of the most prolific scorers to ever step onto the court, Allen Iverson could score from anywhere at any time despite being listed at only 6'0" and 165 pounds.

    Iverson led the league in scoring for so many years thanks to a deadly jumper, a lightning quick crossover, a great understanding of playing near the basket and being quick enough to get the shot off over the trees in the front court.

    He would miraculously lead a dismal 76ers to a 56-26 record and a championship appearance. He scored 48 points in the team's only win that series.

No. 30: Larry Bird, 1984

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    Stats: 24.2 ppg, 10.1 rpg and 6.6 apg

    How his team fared: 62-20 

     

    The first of three consecutive MVP awards, Larry Bird began establishing himself as one of the league's premier scoring and all-around threats by this point in his career.

    Leading the Boston Celtics to their first NBA title since 1981, Bird was the main reason behind it. He was the team's top scorer as well as one of its best rebounders and passers.

    Bird was able to thrive so well as an offensive threat because of how prolific he was as a jump shooter.

No. 29: Magic Johnson, 1987

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    Stats: 23.9 ppg, 12.2 apg and 6.3 rpg

    How his team fared: 65-17 

     

    The first of three MVPs, Magic Johnson would lead the Los Angeles Lakers to an impressive regular season campaign that would be capped off by a championship over the rival Boston Celtics.

    Johnson was the league's best offensive facilitators due to the tremendous height advantage he held over opposing point guards. He also had the court awareness and vision to complement it.

    He saw plays before they even developed, leading the Lakers to a number of championships and a number of MVPs for Magic. He would also lead the league in assists for the fourth time in his career.

No. 28: Bob Cousy, 1957

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    Stats: 20.6 ppg, 7.5 apg and 4.8 rpg

    How his team fared: 44-28 

     

    The first of four Boston Celtics to take home the MVP, Bob Cousy won the deserved award after leading his team to a solid record as the best player on his team.

    Cousy was one of the first NBA point guards to actually use fundamentals in a set offense as opposed to the more popular method of taking a shot early in the shot clock and then running back on defense as if every game was a track meet.

No. 27: Wilt Chamberlain, 1968

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    Stats: 24.3 ppg, 23.8 rpg and 8.6 apg

    How his team fared: 62-20 

     

    Leading his team to another 60-win season and leading the league in rebounding once again, Wilt Chamberlain won his final MVP in 1968 after another impressive campaign.

    The nine assists that he nearly averaged per game was a career high for "the Stilt."

No. 26: Michael Jordan, 1998

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    Stats: 28.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg and 3.5 apg

    How his team fared: 62-20 

     

    In what was supposed to be his final year in the NBA, Michael Jordan won his fifth and final MVP after once again leading the league in scoring. He also led his Chicago Bulls to a third consecutive title with a series victory over the Utah Jazz.

    Jordan might have been 34, but his age did not deter any aspect of his game as he still performed at a prolific rate. He still dominated every NBA team and defender that even attempted to face off with the MVP.

No. 25: Karl Malone, 1999

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    Stat: 23.8 ppg, 9.4 rpg and 4.1 apg

    How his team fared: 37-13 

     

    Winning his second award during the lockout-shortened 1998-99 campaign, Karl Malone led his Utah Jazz to the best record in the NBA while also becoming the oldest NBA player to win an MVP at 35.

    It was a deserved second MVP for Malone, as he led the best team in the NBA while averaging solid stats that probably every 35-year-old NBA player wishes he could post.

No. 24: Tim Duncan, 2002

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    Stats: 25.5 ppg, 12.7 rpg, 3.7 apg and 2.5 bpg

    How his team fared: 58-24 

     

    The first of two consecutive MVPs for "the Big Fundamental," Tim Duncan might not have been the most exciting player, but he certainly was one of the most effective.

    It was just another year for Duncan as he averaged a double-double for the fifth consecutive year while also leading the Spurs to an impressive 58 wins.

    Duncan was so effective at playing the power forward position because of how methodical he was. He took the game slowly and one play at a time, which resulted in Duncan being one of the most efficient players to ever step onto the hardwood.

No. 23: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 1974

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    Stats: 27 ppg, 14.5 rpg, 4.8 apg and 3.5 bpg

    How his team fared: 59-23 

     

    His third MVP award in four years, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was one win away from leading the Milwaukee Bucks to their second title.

    1974 was also the year that blocks began getting registered as a statistic. Abdul-Jabbar wouldn't lead the league in blocks per, but nearly four per game was impressive nonetheless.

No. 22: Bill Russell, 1965

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    Stats: 14.1 ppg, 24.1 rpg and 5.3 apg

    How his team fared: 62-18 

     

    Reigning supreme as the league's top rebounder once again, Bill Russell averaged over five assists per game for the first time in his career while leading the Celtics to an impressive record and yet another championship.

    This would be Russell's fifth and final MVP award, as his stats declined in the following season.

No. 21: LeBron James, 2010

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    Stats: 29.7 ppg, 8.6 apg and 7.3 rpg

    How his team fared: 61-21 

     

    A second consecutive MVP award for "the King," LeBron James once again led a dismal supporting cast to over 60 wins for the second year in a row.

    James' stats were as prolific as ever, as he set a career high in assists due to the Cleveland Cavaliers giving him an even more increased role in dictating the flow of the offense.

    Despite being listed at 6'8" and 275 pounds, James is quite effective at running an offense. He is at his best when the ball is in his hands.

    This was the last year James wore a Cavaliers uniform, taking his talents to the Miami Heat the very next season.

No. 20: Bob Pettit, 1959

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    Stats: 29.2 ppg, 16.4 rpg and 3.1 apg

    How his team fared: 49-23 

     

    The last of his two MVPs, Bob Pettit took home the award in 1959 after leading the league in points per game while also leading his Hawks to an impressive 49-23 record.

    Before Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain came along and began dominating the NBA, Pettit was the league's most feared player. He could score at will and rebound at a prolific rate.

No. 19: Dave Cowens, 1973

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    Stats: 20.5 ppg, 16.2 rpg and 4.1 apg

    How his team fared: 68-14 

     

    The third Boston Celtic to win the MVP since the award was implemented in 1956, Dave Cowens led his Celtics to an unbelievable 68-14 record. It was only one off of the NBA record of 69-13, set by the Los Angeles Lakers the year before.

    Cowens was an impressive post figure who could score and rebound at will. He certainly didn't have the best stats at the time, but his team's record was enough to warrant the third year forward/center an MVP.

No. 18: Moses Malone, 1983

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    Stats: 24.5 ppg, 15.3 rpg, 1.3 apg and 2 bpg

    How his team fared: 65-17 

     

    In only his first year with the Philadelphia 76ers, Moses Malone turned the team into such a dominant juggernaut that they only lost one game during that entire postseason. They would finish off with a sweep over the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.

    Malone led the league in rebounding for the third consecutive season and averaged two blocks per game for only the second time in his career.

No. 17: Wes Unseld, 1969

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    Stats: 13.8 ppg, 18.2 rpg and 2.6 apg

    How his team fared: 57-25 

     

    The last rookie to ever win the MVP, Wes Unseld helped lead the Baltimore Bullets to their best record in franchise history, while also establishing himself as one of the league's top rebounders.

    Perhaps Unseld's best asset was his court vision after he grabbed rebounds. Unseld was unbelievably strong, leading to many outlet passes off rebounds.

No. 16: LeBron James, 2009

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    Stats: 28.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg and 7.2 apg

    How his team fared: 66-16 

     

    Leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to their best record in franchise history, LeBron James did all he could with a team that had no business being a No. 1 seed.

    On a team where Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison and Zydrunas Ilgauskas were the other top contributors, an MVP award was the least James deserved for leading the Cavaliers to 66 wins.

    James averaged stellar numbers in all statistical categories, using that freakish athleticism of his to begin establishing himself as the league's top physical athlete and overall best player.


No. 15: Michael Jordan, 1988

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    Stats: 35 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 5.9 apg and 3.2 spg

    How his team fared: 50-32 

     

    The first of five NBA MVPs, Michael Jordan only began receiving the award once he was able to lead the Chicago Bulls to records that were quality enough to warrant His Airness the prestigious award.

    His 35 points per game was good enough to lead the league, as were his three steals per game.

    It was at this point in his career that Jordan's Bulls would begin challenging the Detroit Pistons and Boston Celtics as the Eastern Conference's top team.

No. 14: Magic Johnson, 1989

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    Stats: 22.5 ppg, 12.8 apg and 7.9 rpg

    How his team fared: 57-25 

     

    Taking the Los Angeles Lakers to their third consecutive title appearance, Magic Johnson would once again make his impression felt as one of the league's top offensive facilitators by leading his team to another solid regular season campaign.

    It was another otherwise average year for Johnson, who averaged his most rebounds per game since 1983.

No. 13: Lew Alcindor, 1971

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    Stats: 31.7 ppg, 16 rpg and 3.3 apg

    How his team fared: 66-16 

     

    Only his second year in the league, Lew Alcindor led the Milwaukee Bucks to their first and only title in franchise history. In the process, he helped Oscar Robertson win his first and only title.

    With the Chamberlain and Russell era no more, Alcindor would begin to reign supreme as the league's most threatening post figure. It showed early on as he led the league in scoring.

No. 12: Michael Jordan, 1991

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    Stats: 31.5 ppg, 6 rpg, 5.5 apg and 2.7 spg

    How his team fared: 61-21 

     

    His second MVP award and his first NBA championship, Michael Jordan began a string of three consecutive titles with an easy win over the Magic Johnson-led Los Angeles Lakers.

    Jordan saw his stats decline from the absurd numbers he was posting early on in his career. But it was at this moment that team basketball would become his first priority. His dominating 1990-91 campaign was proof.

    Jordan was the perfect blend of the basketball player everyone strove to become. He could score from anywhere on the court at any time, rebound better than most guards and facilitate an offense.

    He could play perimeter defense better than nearly every other player in the league at the time, all while leading his team with the raw emotion and passion that's only emitted by the league's greatest players.

No. 11: Wilt Chamberlain, 1967

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    Stats: 24.1 ppg, 24.2 rpg and 7.8 apg

    How his team fared: 68-13 

     

    Taking home his first championship and leading the league in rebounding for the second consecutive year, Wilt Chamberlain took home his second MVP after leading the Philadelphia 76ers to a then-NBA record 68-13.

    Chamberlain's offensive production began declining, but it was also at this point that he'd become a better passer. You can tell by the career high in assists at nearly eight per game.

No. 10: Bill Russell, 1962

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    Stats: 18.9 ppg, 23.6 rpg and 4.5 apg

    How his team fared: 60-20 

     

    Bill Russell was as consistent as they came when it meant scoring and rebounding.

    This time around though, Russell would help lead the powerhouse Celtics to a 60-win season that once again came complete with a championship.

    He also took home the MVP award over Wilt Chamberlain, who had just averaged 50 points per game and 100 points in one single game. Oscar Robertson, who became the first player in league history to average a triple-double for an entire season, was also passed over for Russell.

No. 9: Wilt Chamberlain, 1966

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    Stats: 33.5 ppg, 24.6 rpg and 5.2 apg

    How his team fared: 55-25 

     

    The first of three consecutive MVPs, Wilt Chamberlain only began winning the award once he joined a Philadelphia 76ers squad that had the supporting cast to help him achieve a quality record.

    Chamberlain wasn't averaging over 40 points per game like he was early on his in his career, but he still led the league in points and rebounds per game while also averaging over five assists per for the second time in his career.

No. 8: Larry Bird, 1986

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    Stats: 25.8 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 6.8 apg and 2 spg

    How his team fared: 67-15 

     

    The last of three consecutive MVP awards, Larry Bird led one of the best teams in NBA history in 1986. The Boston Celtics finished the regular season with an impressive 67-15 record before steamrolling their way to a 4-2 series win over the Houston Rockets.

    Bird was prolific as always in the stat column. His solid offensive and defensive numbers led arguably the best NBA team to ever be assembled.

No. 7: Shaquille O'Neal, 2000

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    Stats: 29.7 ppg, 13.6 rpg, 3.8 apg and 3 bpg

    How his team fared: 67-15 

     

    The most dominant player to ever step onto the hardwood, Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal was as unstoppable as they came thanks to a 7'1" and 300-pound frame that was nearly impossible to contain.

    The scariest part of O'Neal's game was that he knew how to use his size. He was terrific at posting up and using his weight to back down defenders under the rim before he would finish with a ferocious slam.

    O'Neal led the Lakers to the best record in the NBA and the first of three consecutive championships, while also leading the league in scoring.

No. 6: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 1972

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    Stats: 34.8 ppg, 16.6 rpg and 4.6 apg

    How his team fared: 63-19 

     

    His most impressive statistical season, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar would once again lead the league in scoring for the second consecutive year while also setting a career high in points per game at nearly 35 per contest.

    Abdul-Jabbar led the Milwaukee Bucks to an impressive record as he took home his second MVP award after only three years in the league.

No. 5: Michael Jordan, 1996

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    Stats: 30.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 4.3 apg and 2.2 spg

    How his team fared: 72-10 

     

    Making his triumphant return to the hardwood after a year-and-a-half layoff from basketball, Michael Jordan would return with a vengeance the world had never seen.

    Jordan posted the same numbers that he had been averaging prior to his retirement, leading the league in points per. He also lead his Chicago Bulls to an NBA-record 72 wins while also going on to dominate the postseason en route to a 4-2 series win over the Seattle Sonics.

No. 4: Oscar Robertson, 1964

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    Stats: 31.4 ppg, 11 apg and 9.9 rpg

    How his team fared: 55-25 

     

    Coming only .1 rebounds per game from averaging a pure triple-double, Oscar Robertson was finally able to secure his first MVP two years after averaging an actual triple-double for the season.

    Robertson won the award this time around because of the drastic improvement of his Cincinnati Royals, who won 55 of 80 games.

    He was also only the second guard to take home the award after Bob Cousy won it in 1957.

No. 3: Wilt Chamberlain, 1960

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    Stats: 37.6 ppg, 27 rpg and 2.3 apg

    How his team fared: 49-26 

     

    The first rookie to win the MVP while playing for the Philadelphia Warriors, Wilt Chamberlain was an immediate force as soon as he entered the league.

    His 7'1" frame and his absurd strength allowed him to shoot over and through defenders at will. It was near impossible for teams to limit Chamberlain without fouling him.

No. 2: Larry Bird, 1985

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    Stats: 28.7 ppg, 10.5 rpg and 6.6 apg

    How his team fared: 63-19 

     

    The best statistical season of his career by far, Larry Bird would average a career high with 29 points per contest, while also leading his Celtics to another solid 60-win season.

    With Kevin McHale and Robert Parish as members of his front court, Bird led the Celtics to a second consecutive finals appearance that they would eventually lose to the rival Los Angeles Lakers.

No. 1: Michael Jordan, 1992

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    Stats: 30.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 6.1 apg and 2.3 spg

    How his team fared: 67-15 

     

    Leading the Chicago Bulls to 67 wins out of 82 games, Michael Jordan would lead the team to their second consecutive title with a series victory over the Portland Trail Blazers while also taking home his second consecutive MVP.

    Jordan played on another level as always, by leading the league in scoring for a sixth consecutive season and averaging over six assists per game. His stats completely corresponded with his team's performance and it shows with the dominant regular and postseason.