National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player ( MVP) is an annual National Basketball Association (NBA) award given since the 1955–56 NBA season to the best performing player of the regular season. The winner receives the Maurice Podoloff Trophy, which is named in honor of the first commissioner (then president) of the NBA who served from 1946 until his retirement in 1963. Until the [a ] 1979–80 season, the MVP was selected by a vote of NBA players. Since the 1980–81 season, the award is decided by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada, each of whom casts a vote for first to fifth place selections. Each first-place vote is worth 10 points; each second-place vote is worth seven; each third-place vote is worth five, fourth-place is worth three and fifth-place is worth one. Starting from 2010, one ballot was cast by fans through online voting. The player with the highest point total wins the award. The sculptor of the bronze NBA MVP trophy presented since 1986 is noted American artist [2 ] Marc Mellon.
Every player who has won this award that is eligible for the
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has been inducted. The most recent winner is Kevin Durant. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won the award a record six times. Both [3 ] Bill Russell and Michael Jordan won the award five times, while [4 ] Wilt Chamberlain and LeBron James won the award four times in their respective careers. Russell and James are the only players to have won the award four times in five seasons. [5 ] Moses Malone, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson each won the award three times, while Bob Pettit, Karl Malone, Tim Duncan and Steve Nash have each won it twice. Only two rookies have won the award: Wilt Chamberlain in the [4 ] 1959–60 season and Wes Unseld in the 1968–69 season. [6 ]
Hakeem Olajuwon of Nigeria, [b ] Tim Duncan of the U.S. Virgin Islands, [c ] Steve Nash of Canada and [d ] Dirk Nowitzki of Germany are the only international MVP winners. Duncan is an American citizen by birth, but is considered an international player by the NBA. Of these four players, only Nowitzki was trained totally outside the United States—the other three all played U.S. college basketball (Olajuwon at [9 ] Houston, Duncan at Wake Forest, and Nash at Santa Clara).
No player has ever won the award unanimously by capturing all first-place votes.
[11 ] Shaquille O'Neal in 1999–2000 and LeBron James in 2012–13 are the only two players to have fallen one vote shy of a unanimous selection, both receiving 120 of 121 votes. [e ] Since the [5 ] 1982–83 season, every player who has won the award has played for a team with at least a .610 winning percentage (equal to 50 regular-season wins in an 82-game season) except the lockout-shortened 50-game 1998–99 season when Karl Malone won and the lockout-shortened 66-game 2011–12 season when James won. [4 ]
, of the San Antonio Spurs, won back-to-back Most Valuable Player awards in the '01-02 and '02-03 seasons.
became the youngest player to ever win the award at age 22.
Denotes player who is still active in the NBA
Inducted into the
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Denotes player whose team won championship that year
Denotes the number of times the player has been named MVP
Denotes the number of times a player from this team has won
^ The official title of the position was NBA President until 1967 when it was changed to NBA Commissioner. [1 ]
^ a b Hakeem Olajuwon was born in Nigeria, but became a naturalized United States citizen in 1993. He was the first ever international player to win the award. [7 ]
^ a b c Although Tim Duncan was born in the U.S. Virgin Islands and is a United States citizen, the NBA considers him an [8 ] international player. [9 ]
^ a b c Steve Nash, who was born in South Africa, was raised in Canada. [10 ]
^ Allen Iverson received the only other first-place vote in 2000, while Carmelo Anthony received the only other first-place vote in 2013. [5 ]
^ a b c d e f Before the 1971–72 season, Lew Alcindor changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. [12 ]
^ Monroe, Mike. "The Commissioners". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc . Retrieved July 8, 2008.
^ "LeBron receives 116 first-place votes". ESPN.com. ESPN Internet Ventures. May 2, 2010 . Retrieved May 2, 2010.
^ "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc . Retrieved July 4, 2008.
^ a b c "Most Valuable Player". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc . Retrieved July 4, 2008.
^ a b c Wallace, Michael (May 5, 2013). "LeBron James wins 4th MVP award". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on May 5, 2013.
^ "Wes Unseld". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc . Retrieved July 4, 2008.
^ "Hakeem Olajuwon Bio: 1992-93". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc . Retrieved June 15, 2008.
^ "Virgin Islands". CIA World Factbook . Retrieved August 12, 2008.
^ a b "NBA Players from around the world: 2005-2006 Season". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc . Retrieved March 13, 2011.
^ McPeek, Jeramie. "The Canadian Kid". NBA.com (from Fastbreak Magazine on Sept./Oct. 1996). Turner Sports Interactive, Inc . Retrieved April 22, 2009.
^ "Vote for Melo keeps LeBron from unanimous MVP nod". CBSSports.com. May 5, 2013. Archived from the original on May 6, 2013.
^ "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Bio". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc . Retrieved August 4, 2008.