The 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 season. The winner receives the Maurice Podoloff Trophy, which is named in honor of the first commissioner (then president)[a] of the NBA who served from 1946 until his retirement in 1963. MVP voting takes place immediately following the regular season. Until the 1979–80 season, the MVP was originally selected by a vote of NBA players. However, 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.
No player has ever won the award unanimously by capturing all of the first-place votes. Shaquille O'Neal in 1999–2000 and LeBron James in 2012–13 are the only two to have fallen one vote shy of a unanimous selection, both receiving 120 of 121 votes.[b] Since the 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).
Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won the award six times. Both Bill Russell and Michael Jordan won the award five times, while Wilt Chamberlain and James won the award four times in their respective careers. Russell and James are the only other players to have won the award four times in five seasons. Hall of Famers Moses Malone, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson have each won the award three times, while Bob Pettit, Karl Malone, Tim Duncan and Steve Nash have each won it twice. The most recent winner is James. Only two rookies have won the award: Wilt Chamberlain in the 1959–60 season and Wes Unseld in the 1968–69 season. Hakeem Olajuwon of Nigeria,[c] Duncan of the U.S. Virgin Islands,[d] Nash of Canada[e] and 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 Houston, Duncan at Wake Forest, and Nash at Santa Clara).
is one of two international players to win the award twice in a row, along with Steve Nash.
, current and 4-time NBA MVP. He and Bill Russell
are the only players to win the award four times in a five year span.
became the youngest player to ever win the award at age 22.
||Denotes player who is still active in the NBA
||Elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
||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.
- ^ Allen Iverson received the only first-place vote O'Neal didn't receive in 2000, while Carmelo Anthony received the only first-place vote James didn't receive in 2013.
- ^ a b Hakeem Olajuwon was born in Nigeria, but became a naturalized United States citizen in 1993.
- ^ 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 international player.
- ^ a b c Steve Nash, who was born in South Africa, was raised in Canada.
- ^ a b c d e f Before the 1971–72 season, Lew Alcindor changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
See also 
- ^ 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.
- ^ "Vote for Melo keeps LeBron from unanimous MVP nod". CBSSports.com. May 5, 2013. Archived from the original on May 6, 2013.
- ^ a b c Wallace, Michael (May 5, 2013). "LeBron James wins 4th MVP award". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on May 5, 2013.
- ^ a b c "Most Valuable Player". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved July 4, 2008.
- ^ "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved July 4, 2008.
- ^ "LeBron James wins 2013 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. May 5, 2013. Retrieved 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.
- ^ "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Bio". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved August 4, 2008.