The Golden State Warriors will host the Cleveland Cavaliers in game one of the 2019 NBA Finals. Game two is scheduled for tomorrow night, on June 7th at 8pm EST. The series will conclude with game 3 on June 11th and 4 on June 13th, both games are set to tip off around 6:30pm Eastern Time.
The “jerry west finals mvp” is a list of the players who received the most MVP awards for their position in the NBA Finals. The list includes an average, median, and mode.
Winning an NBA championship is perhaps the greatest accomplishment a player can achieve. After all, every player that enters the league with the desire to build a name for themselves has this objective. Because the road to the championship is lengthy and demanding, it is also the most hardest assignment to complete.
Being a champion needs something unique, and only one team out of thirty gets to experience it every year. On an individual level, the standout player during a Finals series in which an NBA Finals MVP is awarded is as noteworthy. Every year since the 1969 NBA Finals, we’ve had an NBA Finals MVP.
Only a few players have accomplished this extraordinary achievement, therefore it’s time to compile a list of all NBA Finals MVP winners per position. By the conclusion of the piece, one position will have stood out: natural small forwards have won nine of the previous ten NBA Finals MVP awards.
9 NBA Finals MVP Awards have gone to point guards.
Jerry West (1969), Jo Jo White (1976), Dennis Johnson (1979), Magic Johnson (1980), Magic Johnson (1982), Magic Johnson (1987), Isiah Thomas (1990), Chauncey Billups (2004), Tony Parker (2004), Jerry West (1969), Jo Jo White (1976), Dennis Johnson (1979), Magic Johnson (1980), Magic Johnson (1982), Magic Johnson (1987), Isiah Thomas (1990), Isiah Thomas (1990), Isiah Thomas (1990), Isi (2007)
The point guard position is frequently the most hardest to fill since it is demanding and exhausting to lead a team’s offense every trip down the floor. As a result, just nine players have won Finals MVP, with Magic Johnson earning three of them. Jerry West, the Lakers icon who, while losing the series to the Celtics, averaged 37.4 points per game across six games, was the first to accomplish it.
In 1976, Jo Jo White was named Finals MVP after guiding the historically strong Boston Celtics to a six-game championship triumph. White outscored Alvan Adams and the Phoenix Suns with 21.7 points per game, 4.3 rebounds per game, and 5.8 assists per game. Dennis Johnson averaged 22.6 points per game and 6.0 assists per game with the Seattle SuperSonics in 1979.
No point guard has ever earned as many Finals MVPs as Magic, and no point guard has ever come close to matching the legend’s domination as a player. In 1980, Magic earned his first Finals MVP award, averaging 21.5 points per game, 11.2 rebounds per game, and 8.7 assists per game. Despite averaging 33.4 points, 13.6 rebounds, and 4.6 blocks per game, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar would skip Game 6, giving Magic and the Lakers a spectacular 6-game triumph. With Kareem out, Magic started as a rookie at center and led the team to victory, earning him Finals MVP.
Magic would earn Finals MVP two years later after beating the 76ers with averages of 16.2 points per game, 10.8 rebounds per game, and 8.0 assists per game. In the Finals, Magic was only 5th on his team in scoring, but he led his team in rebounds. After completing a 6-game triumph against Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics, Magic won his third and last Finals MVP five years later.
Isiah Thomas earned Finals MVP for the second consecutive championship, averaging 27.6 points per game and cementing his status as one of the league’s best players. Next up was Chauncey Billups, who acted as the best leader in his position to help the Detroit Pistons defeat the Los Angeles Lakers. Billups and the Pistons were huge underdogs, yet they managed to win because to teamwork and defense. Finally, Tony Parker was named Finals MVP after guiding the Spurs over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers with 24.5 points per game.
10 NBA Finals MVP Awards for Shooting Guards
Joe Dumars (1989), Michael Jordan (1991), Michael Jordan (1992), Michael Jordan (1993), Michael Jordan (1996), Michael Jordan (1997), Michael Jordan (1998), Dwyane Wade (2006), Kobe Bryant (2009), Kobe Bryant (2009), Dwyane Wade (2006), Dwyane Wade (2006), Dwyane Wade (2006), Dwyane Wade (2006), Dwyane Wade (2006), Dwyane Wade (2006), Dwyane Wade (2010)
Joe Dumars became the first shooting guard to earn Finals MVP after guiding the “Bad Boy Pistons” to a sweeping victory against the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite James Worthy’s heroic effort (25.5 PPG), the Pistons were a much superior team and won the first of their back-to-back championships.
Michael Jordan earned six NBA Finals MVP awards with the Chicago Bulls. Jordan, widely regarded as the best player in NBA history, would win the award six times in two three-peats. Jordan’s first three-peat came in the early 1990s, when he beat the Lakers with 31.2 points per game as a rookie. Michael scored 35.8 points per game in the Finals the next season, defeating Clyde Drexler and the Trail Blazers.
Michael Jordan dropped 41.0 points per game and 8.5 rebounds per game against NBA MVP Charles Barkley and the Phoenix Suns to defeat a very good Western Conference team. Jordan would pick up where he left off after a short hiatus, earning Finals MVP in his first full season back. It was not easy to beat Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, and the SuperSonics, but they were defeated. Jordan outscored Karl Malone, John Stockton, and the Utah Jazz for two years in a row, averaging over 32 points per game. Michael is the GOAT, and his credentials speak for themselves.
Dwyane Wade performed perhaps the greatest Finals MVP performance in NBA history by rallying from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Dallas Mavericks, who were led by MVP Dirk Nowitzki. Wade’s biggest achievement was effectively carrying the Heat to a championship. He averaged 34.7 points per game, 7.8 rebounds per game, and 3.8 assists per game.
Of course, Kobe Bryant would go on to win two consecutive MVP awards in 2009 and 2010. After winning three championships with Shaquille O’Neal, Bryant won his first Finals MVP award in 2009, scoring 32.4 points per game in a triumph against the Orlando Magic. Bryant would go on to win his fifth title and his second Finals MVP the following season, despite a terrible shooting night in Game 7. He averaged 28.6 points per game and 8.0 rebounds per game.
16 NBA Finals MVP Awards for small forwards
John Havlicek (1974), Rick Barry (1975), Cedric Maxwell (1981), Larry Bird (1984), Larry Bird (1986), James Worthy (1988), Paul Pierce (2008), LeBron James (2012), LeBron James (2013), Kawhi Leonard (2014), Andre Iguodala (2015), LeBron James (2016), Kevin Durant (2017), Kevin Durant (2018), Kawhi Leonard (2019), LeBron James (2016), Kevin Durant (2017), Kevin Durant (2018), Kawhi Leonard ( (2020)
Because of their stature and skill set, small forwards have proved to be the most effective players in the game. A superstar small forward is big enough to have an influence on the game physically while yet being mobile enough to handle the ball, score, and defend. That is why, beginning with John Havlicek, 16 small forwards have been named Finals MVPs.
In 1974, the Celtics icon won his Finals MVP by averaging 26.4 points per game, defeating Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the Bucks, who averaged 32.6 points per game. Rick Barry won Finals MVP the next season, scoring 29.5 points per game while leading the Golden State Warriors to a 3-0 victory against the Washington Bullets. The Celtics would win another title six years later, this time due to a small forward named Cedric Maxwell. Maxwell led Boston over Moses Malone and the Houston Rockets with 17.7 points per game and 9.5 rebounds per game.
In 1984, Larry Bird led the Celtics to a 7-game victory against Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and the Lakers, averaging 27.4 points per game and 14.0 rebounds. Two seasons later, Bird defeated Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets to capture his second Finals MVP award. The Lakers’ great James Worthy earned Finals MVP one season after Magic did with the Lakers. In a seven-game series against the Detroit Pistons, Worthy averaged 22.0 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, earning him the title “Big Game James.”
Paul Pierce led the Celtics to yet another NBA title, this time guiding Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to a decisive Game 6 win against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. With his leadership and crucial efforts (including a “fake” injury to shift momentum in Game 1), he has steered the team to victory. After a dominant performance against the Thunder in 2012, LeBron James would go over the hump and earn his first title and Finals MVP four years later.
James averaged 25.3 points per game, including a 34-point outburst in Game 7 to help the Heat beat the dynasty San Antonio Spurs. James displayed his genuine all-around game in what was perhaps his greatest Finals in a Heat jersey. In 2014, the Spurs got their retribution, with a 23-year-old Kawhi Leonard winning Finals MVP and launching his career as a superstar in the NBA.
Andre Iguodala won Finals MVP the following season after “limiting” LeBron James to 35.8 points per game while simultaneously posting the Warriors’ second-highest PPG. Iguodala, an improbable Finals MVP, was instrumental in his team’s defense overcoming the Cavaliers. In 2016, a small forward won Finals MVP for the second time, this time LeBron James. The King avenged himself by leading the Cavaliers to a 7-game victory over the Warriors in the NBA Finals, completing the greatest Finals comeback ever.
It was game over for the league once Kevin Durant joined the Warriors. In consecutive Finals appearances, the former Thunder player earned back-to-back Finals MVP awards, averaging 35.2 points per game and 28.8 points per game, beating his nemesis LeBron James. Kawhi Leonard would win his second Finals MVP award in 2019, scoring 28.5 points per game and 9.8 rebounds while leading the Toronto Raptors to their first-ever title by beating the Golden State Warriors in the Finals.
Finally, by winning his fourth title with his third club, LeBron James would add his fourth Finals MVP to his CV. The Lakers had James and a prime Anthony Davis, and they won the all despite a Covid-shortened season. The Finals MVP was a small forward for the 9th time in a row.
8 NBA Finals MVP Awards for power forwards
Willis Reed (1970), Willis Reed (1973), Wes Unseld (1978), Tim Duncan (1999), Tim Duncan (2003), Tim Duncan (2005), Dirk Nowitzki (2011), Giannis Antetokounmpo (2011) are some of the players who have received the award (2021)
The power forward position is sometimes overlooked, yet it has produced some of the finest players in history. Willis Reed of the New York Knicks was the first power forward to earn Finals MVP, averaging 23.0 points per game and 10.5 rebounds per game in a seven-game series versus the Lakers. Reed accomplished it again in 1973, beating the Lakers in five games while demonstrating his dominance as a two-way player.
Wes Unseld, one of the game’s top 75 players, led the Washington Bullets to a 7-game victory against the Seattle SuperSonics, averaging 9.0 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. Unseld was a force on both sides of the court and won his title despite scoring less than 10 points per game. As a part of the San Antonio Spurs dynasty, Tim Duncan would go on to earn three Finals MVP awards.
The first occurred in 1999, when David Robinson handed Duncan the keys to the squad. Duncan averaged 27.4 points per game and 14.0 rebounds per game in the Finals, defeating Latrell Sprewell and the Knicks for his first title in five games. Duncan went on to beat Jason Kidd and the Nets in six games four years later, averaging 24.2 points and 17.0 rebounds per game. Duncan averaged 20.6 points per game and 14.1 rebounds per game in a seven-game series against the 2004 champion Detroit Pistons in 2005.
When Dirk Nowitzki earned Finals MVP in 2011 to lead the Dallas Mavericks over the Miami Heat in six games, it was the crowning accomplishment of his career. Despite facing LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh with the Heat, Nowitzki was unstoppable on offense, leading the Mavericks to their first title.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Greek Freak, earned Finals MVP last season after a fantastic 50-point effort in Game 7 against the Phoenix Suns. With this performance, Giannis cemented his spot among the top-30 players of all time, and he is just 26 years old.
10 NBA Finals MVP Awards for centers
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1971), Wilt Chamberlain (1972), Bill Walton (1977), Moses Malone (1983), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1985), Hakeem Olajuwan (1994), Hakeem Olajuwon (1995), Shaquille O’Neal (2000), Shaquille O’Neal (2001), Shaquille O’Neal (2002, 2003), Shaquille O’Ne (2002)
Centers have always been considered as the most dominating players in the NBA, particularly in the past. Big men have dominated the NBA for the bulk of the league’s existence, despite the fact that the game has altered dramatically in the last decade. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, perhaps the greatest center of all time, earned his first Finals MVP award in 1971, guiding the Milwaukee Bucks to a four-game victory against the Baltimore Bullets.
Wilt Chamberlain earned Finals MVP the next season, scoring 19.4 points per game and 23.2 rebounds per game while leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a five-game victory against the New York Knicks. Wilt’s first and only Finals MVP was unique since the honor was not handed out in 1967 (Chamberlain’s first title).
Bill Walton of the Trail Blazers put on one of the most overpowering performances by a big man in the 1977 Finals, averaging 18.5 points per game, 19.0 rebounds per game, and 5.2 assists per game. Walton was rated among the top-75 players in history because he thoroughly dominated the Finals. Moses Malone, possibly the greatest offensive rebounder of all time, led the 76ers to a rout of the Lakers, averaging 25.8 points and 18.0 rebounds per game.
In 1985, Kareem earned his second Finals MVP award (with his second club), scoring 25.7 points per game and 9.0 rebounds to lead the Lakers over Larry Bird and the Celtics in six nail-biting games. With Michael Jordan out of the league for two seasons, Hakeem Olajuwon was the NBA’s indisputable top player en way to two consecutive titles in 1994 and 1995. Olajuwon enjoyed a strong two-year run in the NBA, thanks to the “Dream Shake” and a nucleus of excellent role players.
Shaquille O’Neal’s supremacy in the NBA started after Hakeem. In 2000, the Diesel earned his first Finals MVP award, scoring 38.0 points per game and 16.7 rebounds per game while dominating Reggie Miller and the Pacers in six games. Shaq accomplished it again in 2001, scoring 33.0 points per game and 15.8 rebounds to lead the Lakers to their second consecutive championship, this time over the 76ers. Finally, Shaq won his third consecutive Finals MVP award in 2002, leading the Lakers to a victory against the Nets by averaging 36.3 points per game and 12.3 rebounds per game. Simply said, there hasn’t been a more imposing physical specimen than Shaquille O’Neal since Wilt Chamberlain.
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The “how many finals mvps does bill russell have” is a question that has been asked before. Russell won the first 10 NBA Finals MVPs, but this year he was outdone by LeBron James. This season, James won his third championship and became the first player to win three consecutive Finals MVPs.
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