Who has won the most Finals MVP awards?
Despite this being Steph Curry’s fourth NBA Championship title, it’s his first time to win NBA Finals MVP, an award given only in the postseason.
In the NBA, the league MVP is decided before the post season. For that reason, there is a separate MVP title given during the post season. It’s not always easy to earn that title. Steph Curry just won it for the first time after the Warriors defeated the Celtics in Game 6 to take the NBA Championship, despite this being Curry’s fourth time to accomplish that feat.
Who has the most NBA Finals MVPs?
Also known as the Bill Russell award, the NBA Finals MVP title was introduced in 1969, so some legends (like Bill Russell himself) have never won the award. Others, however, have won it several times.
Michael Jordan - 6
1990-91, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1995-96, 1996-97,1998-99
Michael Jordan holds the record for most Finals MVPs with six, all of which were with the Chicago Bulls. If Jordan was in the finals, he won the finals. He was a perfect 6-6 in the NBA Finals and won the MVP honor all six times. He is also the only player to ever win NBA MVP, NBA Finals MVP, NBA All-Star Game MVP, NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and NBA Rookie of the year. He and Shaquille O’Neal are the only players to have won the award three years in a row.
LeBron James - 4
2011-12, 2012-13, 2015-16, 2020-21
After Jordan is LeBron James, with four Finals MVP titles. James is the only player to ever win the award with three different teams (Cavaliers, Heat, and Lakers). Each time he won a championship, he also won Finals MVP. James became the first player to average 25 points a season for 17 consecutive years.
Magic Johnson - 3
1979-80, 1981-82, 1986-87
Magic Johnson is one of three players to have won the NBA Finals award three times. All three times, he won it with the Lakers. During his time in the NBA, the Lakers point guard led the league in assists (9,921) and kept that honor until 1995.
Shaquille O’Neal - 3
1999-00, 2000-01, 2001-02
Like Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal won all three of his NBA Finals titles with the Lakers. In three back-to-back seasons, he took his team to the championship and won it all three times. He, Michael Jordan, and Willis Reed are the only players to have ever won NBA MVP, Finals MVP, and All-Star Game MVP in the same year.
Tim Duncan - 3
1998-99, 2002-03, 2004-05
Tim Duncan took his team to the championship five times and of those five, he won the Finals MVP award three times, all with the San Antonio Spurs. For 13 consecutive seasons, the power forward was selected to the All-NBA and All-Defensive Teams - the only player to ever do so. He still leads the league in blocks today, with 568.