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Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award
Established 1969
Current holder(s) Kobe Bryant
Awarded to the most valuable player in
each NBA Finals
head shot of Jerry West
Jerry West, the inaugural award recipient, is the only person to win while being on the losing team (in the 1969 NBA Finals).
head shot of Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan is the only person to win this award six times.
Tim Duncan (top) is the only international player to win this award three times, while Tony Parker (bottom) is the only European to win the 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 nine media members, who cast vote after the conclusion of the final round. The person with the highest votes wins the award. In at least one NBA Finals, fans balloting on NBA.com accounted for the tenth vote.[1][2] Originally, the award was a black trophy with a gold basketball-shaped sphere at the top, similar to the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy, until a smaller trophy was introduced in 2005.[3][4]

Michael Jordan, who led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA Championships from 1991 to 1993 and 1996 to 1998, is the only player to win the award six times.[5] Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, and Tim Duncan all won the award three times in their career while Willis Reed, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, and Hakeem Olajuwon won the award twice. Jordan and O'Neal are the only players to win the award in three consecutive seasons (Jordan accomplished the feat on two separate occasions). Hakeem Olajuwon has won the award in two consecutive seasons. Abdul-Jabbar is the only player to win the award for two different teams, first with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1971, then with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1985. Jerry West, the first ever awardee, won the award while being on the losing team in the NBA Finals.[5] Olajuwon of Nigeria, who was a naturalized U.S. citizen since 1993, Tim Duncan of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Tony Parker of France are the only three 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.[6]

On February 14, 2009, during the 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend in Phoenix, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced that the award would be re-named the "Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award" in honor of 11-time NBA champion Bill Russell.[7]

Winners

^ Denotes player who is still active
* Elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame
Player (X) Denotes the number of times the player has been awarded the Finals MVP award
Year Player Positions Nationality Team
1969 West, JerryJerry West*[a] Guard  United States Los Angeles Lakers
1970 Reed, WillisWillis Reed* Center/Forward  United States New York Knicks
1971 Alcindor, LewLew Alcindor*[b] Center  United States Milwaukee Bucks
1972 Chamberlain, WiltWilt Chamberlain* Center  United States Los Angeles Lakers
1973 Reed, WillisWillis Reed* (2) Center/Forward  United States New York Knicks
1974 Havlicek, JohnJohn Havlicek* Forward/Guard  United States Boston Celtics
1975 Barry, RickRick Barry* Forward  United States Golden State Warriors
1976 White, Jo JoJo Jo White Guard  United States Boston Celtics
1977 Walton, BillBill Walton* Center  United States Portland Trail Blazers
1978 Unseld, WesWes Unseld* Center/Forward  United States Washington Bullets
1979 Johnson, DennisDennis Johnson Guard  United States Seattle SuperSonics
1980 Johnson, MagicMagic Johnson* Guard  United States Los Angeles Lakers
1981 Maxwell, CedricCedric Maxwell Forward  United States Boston Celtics
1982 Johnson, MagicMagic Johnson* (2) Guard  United States Los Angeles Lakers
1983 Malone, MosesMoses Malone* Center/Forward  United States Philadelphia 76ers
1984 Bird, LarryLarry Bird* Forward  United States Boston Celtics
1985 Abdul-Jabbar, KareemKareem Abdul-Jabbar*[b] (2) Center  United States Los Angeles Lakers
1986 Bird, LarryLarry Bird* (2) Forward  United States Boston Celtics
1987 Johnson, MagicMagic Johnson* (3) Guard  United States Los Angeles Lakers
1988 Worthy, JamesJames Worthy* Forward  United States Los Angeles Lakers
1989 Dumars, JoeJoe Dumars* Guard  United States Detroit Pistons
1990 Thomas, IsiahIsiah Thomas* Guard  United States Detroit Pistons
1991 Jordan, MichaelMichael Jordan* Guard  United States Chicago Bulls
1992 Jordan, MichaelMichael Jordan* (2) Guard  United States Chicago Bulls
1993 Jordan, MichaelMichael Jordan* (3) Guard  United States Chicago Bulls
1994 Olajuwon, HakeemHakeem Olajuwon* Center  United States[c] Houston Rockets
1995 Olajuwon, HakeemHakeem Olajuwon* (2) Center  United States[c] Houston Rockets
1996 Jordan, MichaelMichael Jordan* (4) Guard  United States Chicago Bulls
1997 Jordan, MichaelMichael Jordan* (5) Guard  United States Chicago Bulls
1998 Jordan, MichaelMichael Jordan* (6) Guard  United States Chicago Bulls
1999 Duncan, TimTim Duncan^ Forward/Center  United States[d] San Antonio Spurs
2000 O'Neal, ShaquilleShaquille O'Neal^ Center  United States Los Angeles Lakers
2001 O'Neal, ShaquilleShaquille O'Neal^ (2) Center  United States Los Angeles Lakers
2002 O'Neal, ShaquilleShaquille O'Neal^ (3) Center  United States Los Angeles Lakers
2003 Duncan, TimTim Duncan^ (2) Forward/Center  United States[d] San Antonio Spurs
2004 Billups, ChaunceyChauncey Billups^ Guard  United States Detroit Pistons
2005 Duncan, TimTim Duncan^ (3) Forward/Center  United States[d] San Antonio Spurs
2006 Wade, DwyaneDwyane Wade^ Guard  United States Miami Heat
2007 Parker, TonyTony Parker^[e] Guard  France San Antonio Spurs
2008 Pierce, PaulPaul Pierce^ Forward/Guard  United States Boston Celtics
2009 Bryant, KobeKobe Bryant^ Guard  United States Los Angeles Lakers

Notes

  • a Jerry West is the only player to win the award while being on the losing team in the NBA Finals.
  • b Before the 1971–72 season, Lew Alcindor changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.[8]
  • c Hakeem Olajuwon was born in Nigeria, but became a naturalized United States citizen in 1993.[9]
  • d Because Tim Duncan is a United States citizen by birth, as are all natives of the U.S. Virgin Islands,[10] he was able to play for the U.S. internationally.[11]
  • e Tony Parker is the only non-U.S. citizen to win the Finals MVP award.

References

General

Specific

  1. ^ Mike Bresnahan (June 19, 2008). "Numbers from final game tell bad tale for Lakers". Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/sports/basketball/nba/la-sp-lakersfyi19-2008jun19,0,5202810.story. Retrieved July 15, 2008. 
  2. ^ Johnny Ludden (June 25, 2005). "MVP voting as close as the series". San Antonio Express-News. http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=SAEC&p_theme=saec&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=10B05696DC904A04&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM. Retrieved July 15, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Game 5 Notebook: Billups Wins MVP". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. http://www.nba.com/finals2004/game5_notebook.html. Retrieved July 16, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Spurs crowned NBA champions". CBC Sports. June 24, 2005. http://www.cbc.ca/sports/story/2005/06/23/spurs-pistons050623.html. Retrieved July 16, 2008. 
  5. ^ a b "Finals Most Valuable Player". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. http://www.nba.com/history/finalsmvps.html. Retrieved July 14, 2008. 
  6. ^ "Bargnani becomes first European top NBA draft pick". People's Daily Online. June 29, 2006. http://english.people.com.cn/200606/29/eng20060629_278441.html. Retrieved June 16, 2008. 
  7. ^ "The Finals MVP to Receive Bill Russell MVP Award". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. February 14, 2009. http://www.nba.com/2009/news/02/14/russell.trophy/index.html?rss=true. Retrieved February 14, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Bio". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. http://www.nba.com/history/players/abduljabbar_bio.html. Retrieved August 4, 2008. 
  9. ^ "Hakeem Olajuwon Bio: 1992-93". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. http://www.nba.com/playerfile/hakeem_olajuwon/bio.html. Retrieved June 15, 2008. 
  10. ^ "Virgin Islands". CIA World Factbook. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/vq.html. Retrieved August 12, 2008. 
  11. ^ "All-Time USA Basketball Men's Roster: D". USA Basketball. http://www.usabasketball.com/news.php?news_page=men_alpha_D. Retrieved June 16, 2008. 

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