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NBA Finals MVP History

CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 08: The 2018 NBA Finals MVP trophy sits near the microphone before the press conference for Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers during Game Four of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 8, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 108-85 to win the 2018 NBA Finals.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller

The NBA Finals MVP award was first introduced for the 1969 NBA Finals. The winner is decided through a panel of eleven media members.

The first person to win the award was Jerry West, who was ironically on the losing side of the battle. He would end up as the only player to ever win the award on the losing team.

Only 31 players have won the award since it was created. Michael Jordan leads all players as a record six-time award winner. Behind him are Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, Tim Duncan,and LeBron James, who are all three-time award winners.

While Jordan's six wins are incredible, the player who could have won the award far more than him, doesn't have a single one to his name. Bill Russell led the Celtics to 11 championship wins in 13 seasons, but the Finals MVP award wasn't created until his last title, in which West won the award. In order to commemorate the legend, the Finals MVP award was named after Russell in 2009.

Complete List of NBA Finals MVP's

2018 - Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
2017 - Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
2016 - LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
2015 - Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors
2014 - Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
2013 - LeBron James, Miami Heat
2012 - LeBron James, Miami Heat
2011 - Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks
2010 - Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
2009 - Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
2008 - Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics
2007 - Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs
2006 - Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
2005 - Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
2004 - Chauncey Billups, Detroit Pistons
2003 - Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
2002 - Shaquille O'Neal, Los Angeles Lakers
2001 - Shaquille O'Neal, Los Angeles Lakers
1999 - Shaquille O'Neal, Los Angeles Lakers
1999 - Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
1998 - Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
1997 - Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
1996 - Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
1995 - Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston Rockets
1994 - Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston Rockets
1993 - Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
1992 - Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
1991 - Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
1980 - Isiah Thomas, Detroit Pistons
1989 - Joe Dumars, Detroit Pistons
1988 - James Worthy,    Los Angeles Lakers
1987 - Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers
1986 - Larry Bird, Boston Celtics
1985 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Los Angeles Lakers
1984 - Larry Bird, Boston Celtics
1983 - Moses Malone, Philadelphia 76ers
1982 - Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers
1981 - Cedric Maxwell, Boston Celtics
1979 - Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers
1979 - Dennis Johnson, Seattle SuperSonics
1978 - Wes Unseld, Washington Bullets
1977 - Bill Walton, Portland Trail Blazers
1976 - Jo Jo White, Boston Celtics
1975 - Rick Barry, Golden State Warriors
1974 - John Havlicek, Boston Celtics
1973 - Willis Reed, New York Knicks
1972 - Wilt Chamberlain, Los Angeles Lakers
1971 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Milwaukee Bucks
1970 - Willis Reed, New York Knicks
1969 - Jerry West, Los Angeles Lakers