Skip to main content

Top 15 Interesting Facts about the MVP Award


The topic of MVP is probably the hottest discussion at the moment, with everyone debating over who deserves the award, James Harden or Russell Westbrook.

Who will win the NBA MVP Award? Who has the better season, Harden or Westbrook?

In 2015, Stephen Curry won the award because his team had a better record. Today, maybe it's not all about winning games, as Russell Westbrook is the only player who has averaged a triple-double over a season after Oscar Robertson.

Check the top 10 interesting facts about the MVP Award, and maybe it will be a little easier for you to decider who deserves the award.

1. Moses Malone

The 1981-82 season was the last time a player from a team outside of the top 3 in its conference has won the MVP award.

Moses Malone, who then played for the Houston Rockets, won the award with his team finishing with the #6 seed. Kareem Abdul-Jabaar has also won the MVP award from the #6 seed in the 1975-76 season.

2. The MVP Winners

"According to Elias Sports Bureau research, the past 34 MVPs' teams have been ranked in the top three of their respective conferences in wins. In that stretch, only two were ranked outside the top two: Steve Nash in 2005-06 and Michael Jordan in 1987-88. Overall, 45 of the 61 MVP winners finished the season first in the conference. Only 12 of the 61 MVP winners finished the season ranked first in triple-doubles."

3. Oscar Robertson

Unfortunately, even with the triple-double season, Oscar didn't win an NBA MVP Award.

4. 25-8-8 Season

Since the MVP debate has become fixated on history, some context: Until now, only 2 players had ever averaged 25-8-8: MJ (88-89), Oscar (5x).

5. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won 6 MVPs and is at the top of this list. Michael Jordan won 5, Bill Russell 5, Wilt Chamberlain 4 and LeBron James 4.

6. Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics have the most MVP Awards in the NBA. They have 10 MVP winners (Bill Russell - 5, Larry Bird - 3, Bob Cousy - 1, Dave Cowens - 1).

The Los Angeles Lakers have 8 NBA MVP Award winners. After them, the Philadelphia Sixers (6) and Chicago Bulls (6) follow.

7. Point Guards

Steve Nash, Magic Johnson and Stephen Curry are the only point guards in NBA history who have 2 MVP Awards in their careers.

Scroll to Continue


8. Youngest MVP in NBA History

Derrick Rose was 22 years and 5 months old when he became the league's youngest MVP in history. He averaged 25 points and 7.7 assists during the regular season, leading the Chicago Bulls (62-20) to the No.1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Wes Unseld (23) held the previous record.

9. Michael Jordan 1986-87 NBA MVP Award Voting

Michael Jordan averaged 37.1 points. 5.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists a game in 1986-87, but that wasn't enough to win the NBA MVP Award. Magic Johnson won the award, averaging 23.9 points, 12.2 assists and 6.9 rebounds.

Jordan had 449 votes, but Magic had 733 votes.

10. Steve Nash

Steve Nash won 2004-05 MVP Award averaging 15.5 points, along with 11.5 assists and 3.3 rebounds. 2nd place was Shaquille O'Neal, with 22.9 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.3 blocks per game.

3rd place was Dirk Nowitzki, averaging 26.1 points with 9.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.5 blocks per game.

Steve Nash had 1,066 votes, Shaq 1,032 and Dirk 349 votes.

11. At Least 50 Games

Since the 1982–83 season, every winner was from a team that won at least 50 games in the regular season that year.

12. Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry in 2015–16 is the only player to have won the award unanimously with 1,310 votes (131 1st places).

13. Shaq and LeBron

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.

14. International MVP Winners

Hakeem Olajuwon of Nigeria, Tim Duncan of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Steve Nash of Canada and Dirk Nowitzki of Germany are the only international MVP winners.

15. NBA Rookies

Only two rookies have won the award: Wilt Chamberlain in the 1959–60 season and Wes Unseld in the 1968–69 season.

The NBA will announce the MVP Award winner on June 26th.

What do you think, who will win?


NBA Advanced Stats: Top 5 Most Underrated and Overrated Three-Point Shooters