The NBA MVP Award "In a Box"
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 7'2" (1970-71, 1971-72, 1973-74, 1975-76, 1976-77, 1979-80)
Fourteen of the 53 MVPs (26.4 percent) have been 7'0" or taller.
Allen Iverson, 6'0" (2000-01)
Only three players shorter than 6'4" have won the MVP award: Allen Iverson, Bob Cousy, and Steve Nash (who won two MVP awards).
Shaquille O'Neal, 300 lbs. (1999-00)
They might want to recalibrate the scale they used to weigh Shaq.
Allen Iverson, 165 lbs. (2000-01)
Forty-four of the 53 MVPs (83 percent) have weighed 200 pounds or more.
Michael Jordan, 2868 (1987-88)
Jordan's point total in 1987-88 ranks sixth all time. Oddly enough, Wilt Chamberlain has four of the top five single season point totals, but won his four MVP awards in other seasons.
Bill Walton, 1097 (1977-78)
Bill Russell has 5 of the 10 lowest point totals for an MVP.
Wilt Chamberlain, 1957 (1966-67)
Chamberlain grabs the top four spots here.
Steve Nash, 249 (2004-05)
In what shouldn't be a surprise, the four shortest MVPs have the four lowest rebound totals.
Magic Johnson, 988 (1988-89)
Magic has the three highest assist totals for an MVP…
Moses Malone, 101 (1982-83)
…while Moses has the three lowest.
Best Team Winning Percentage
Michael Jordan, .878 (1995-96 Chicago Bulls)
The Bulls went 72-10 in 1995-96, the best record in NBA history.
Worst Team Winning Percentage
Bob Pettit, .458 (1955-56 St. Louis Hawks)
The Hawks made the playoffs that season, losing to the Fort Wayne Pistons in the Western Division Finals.
Team Made Playoffs
52 out of 53 (98.1 percent)
The only MVP to play for a team that did not make the playoffs was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975-76. Abdul-Jabbar and Bob Pettit in 1955-56 (see above) are the only MVPs to play for teams that finished below .500.
Team Won Championship
20 out of 53 (37.7 percent)
Zero, zilch, nada.
Shaquille O'Neal came the closest (see below), getting all but one first place vote in 1999-00.
Largest Award Share
Shaquille O'Neal, .9975 (1999-00)
An award share is equal to points won divided by maximum number of points. In 1999-00, Shaq had 1207 points in the voting. If he had received every first place vote, his point total would have been 1210, so his award share was 1207 / 1210 = .9975.
Smallest Award Share
Bob Cousy, .3647 (1956-57)
In 1955-56, 1956-57, 1964-65, and 1976-77 through 1979-80, voters could only list one player on their ballot. The smallest award share in a year where voters could list multiple players on their ballot was .4067 by Wilt Chamberlain in 1965-66.
Most Award Shares, Career
Michael Jordan, 8.14
Followed by Karem Abdul-Jabbar (6.20), Larry Bird (5.69), Magic Johnson (5.13), and Bill Russell (4.83).
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 6 (1970-71, 1971-72, 1973-74, 1975-76, 1976-77, 1979-80)
Most Consecutive Wins
Bill Russell (1960-61 through 1962-63), Wilt Chamberlain (1965-66 through 1967-68), and Larry Bird (1983-84 through 1985-86), 3
Most Years Between Wins
Wilt Chamberlain, 6 (1959-60 to 1965-66)
Most First Place Votes, Career
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 762
Followed by Michael Jordan (530.5), Wilt Chamberlain (348), Bill Russell (289), and Larry Bird (271).
Most Years, First Place Vote
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 13 (1969-70 through 1980-81, 1983-84)
I find this more remarkable than Abdul-Jabbar's six wins. In thirteen different seasons, at least one voter thought Abdul-Jabbar was the most valuable player in the league.
Robertson is the choice at the point over any one of Magic Johnson's three MVP seasons. Jordan has to be the shooting guard, and 1987-88 was his best MVP season. Bird and Garnett are my forwards, with a nod to Bob McAdoo. Center is the toughest choice. I went with Chamberlain's 1966-67 season because he led the league in rebounds, was third in points and assists, shot an amazing 68.2 percent from the floor, and led the Sixers to a 68-13 record.
Wes Unseld, 22 (1968-69)
Unseld and Wilt Chamberlain are the only rookies to win the MVP award.
Karl Malone, 35 (1998-99)
Malone is also the oldest first-time winner, as he won his first MVP award at the age of 33.
Dave Cowens (1972-73)
Cowens did not lead the NBA in a single category in 1972-73. Tiny Archibald, meanwhile, led the league in minutes played, field goals, field goal attempts, free throws, free throw attempts, assists, and points. Archibald's KC-Omaha Kings did not make the playoffs that year, but Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's Milwaukee Bucks did, finishing first in the Midwest Division with a record of 60-22. Although Archibald had the flashy stats, I probably would have voted for Kareem. So why did Cowens win? The Celtics exploded for 68 wins in 1972-73, and the voters just had to give the award to somebody from Boston. If forced to pick someone from that Celtics team, I probably would have gone with John Havlicek. The All-NBA voters got it right, as they put Archibald, Abdul-Jabbar, and Havlicek on the first team, but put Cowens on the second team.
Most Winners, Franchise
Boston Celtics, 10 (1956-57, 1957-58, 1960-61 through 1962-63, 1964-65, 1972-73, 1983-84 through 1985-86)
The Lakers are the runner-up in this category with eight winners.