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 regular season. The winner receives the Maurice Podoloff Trophy, which is named in honor of the first NBA commissioner (then president)[a] of the NBA who served from 1946 until his retirement in 1963. Until the 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. As of May 2015[update], the current holder of the award is Stephen Curry.
No player has ever won the award unanimously by capturing all first-place votes.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 1982–83 season, every winner was from a team that won at least 50 games in the regular season that year.[f]
^Except for seasons affected by lockouts, when the schedule was shortened from the norm of 82 games. Karl Malone won in 1998–99 when Utah was 37–13 in 50 games, which projected to 60 wins in 82 games. James won in 2011–12 when the Miami Heat were 46–20 in 66 games, which projected to 57 wins.
^ abcdefBefore the 1971–72 season, Lew Alcindor changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.