NBA

Historic MVPs: the youngest to win, who won the most, teams that produced the most MVPs

Discover historic MVP moments, such as which players have the most MVP awards. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Larry Bird...

NBA MVP Winner
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The most valuable player award is a highly-regarded distinction in the NBA, signifying the best-performing player of the regular season. Voting results are in for the 2020-2021 season from broadcasters and sports journalists. The chosen finalists for the annual award were the following:

  • Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
  • Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
  • Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets

Among these finalists, Nikola Jokic from the Denver Nuggets has been named the 2020-2021 MVP.

This season was one for the books. Regular season games were postponed due to the pandemic, and stadiums were left empty. However, this season wasn’t one to forget. The NBA, for example, became highly involved in social movements such as the Black Lives Matter Movement.

Regarding the movement, Lebron James said, “Where do we go from here? We don’t stop. I hope people continue to use their platform. Use their individual social media platforms, if they’re doing it that way, or if you are an individual that goes into your community and does it that way.

Despite a difficult year, Nikola Jokic managed to come out on top.

Historic NBA MVP Moments

Let's deep dive into past top performers and historic MVP moments, taking a look at which players have the most MVP awards, who the youngest winners ever are, and who has won the most MVP awards in a row.

Who has won the most MVP Awards?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has won the most MVP awards throughout his basketball career with a record number of 6 MVP awards. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won consecutively in 1971 and 1972, and again in 1974 playing for the Milwaukee Bucks. He was awarded MVP again in 1976 and 1977 playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, and his final MVP award was secured in 1980 playing for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Michael Jordan and Bill Russell come in second on the list with the most MVP awards with 5 MVP titles throughout their basketball careers.

LeBron James and Wilt Chamberlain have also made a substantial mark, winning the MVP title four times. LeBron James won MVP playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2009 and 2010 as well as for the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013. Wilt Chamberlain won MVP in 1960, 1966, 1967, and 1968 playing for the Philadelphia 76ers.

Who has won the most MVP awards in a row?

Only three players have ever won three MVP awards in a row, that being Larry Bird in 1984, 1985, and 1986, Wilt Chamberlain in 1966, 1967, and 1968, and Bill Russell in 1961, 1962, and 1963.

This year there was debate as to whether Giannis Antetokounmpo would be the fourth NBA player to win 3 consecutive MVP awards in a row, but he was not chosen as a finalist. Giannis Antetokounmpo won MVP in both 2019 and 2020 playing for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Who is the youngest NBA player to win MVP?

Derrick Rose is the youngest player to be named MVP at just 22 years-old in 2011 playing for the Chicago Bulls. Prior to Derrek, the youngest player to have won MVP for the regular season was Westley Unsled at 23 years old. Unsled played for the Baltimore Bullets and won the award in 1969.

The Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers- the two teams with the most NBA championship titles- have also produced the most MVP award winners. The Boston Celtics come in first place with 10 MVP award winners, and the Los Angeles Lakers in second place with 8 MVP award winners. Though the Boston Celtics lead in the running, the team has not produced an MVP award winner since 1986 with Larry Bird.

Nikola Jokic has been a stand-out player for the Denver Nuggets. He is also the sixth international player to win MVP.