Since the NBA started handing out the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award (Finals MVP in short), there have been five players to win the award back-to-back: Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Andre Iguodala can be number six if the Golden State Warriors win in 2016.

The award was handed given out in 1969. Jerry West was the first recipient, the only player to be on the losing side of the NBA Finals and still win the Finals MVP.

Michael Jordan

1997 NBA Finals Game 6: Utah Jazz vs. Chicago Bulls

Jordan is the only player with more than three Finals MVP awards, doing it on two separate streaks of three, leading the Chicago Bulls to six championships in eight seasons. He’s also the first player to win the award back-to-back.

  • In 1991 he averaged 31.2 points and 11.4 assists per game in five games against the Lakers
  • In 1992 he & the Bulls beat the Blazers in six games. Jordan averaged 35.8 points in the series
  • In 1993 the Bulls beat the Suns in six games. Jordan averaged 41 points and 8.5 rebounds in the series
  • In 1996 Jordan led the Bulls to championship number 4, beating the Supersonics in six. Jordan averaged 27.3 points
  • In 1997, the Bulls & Jordan beat the Utah Jazz after six games. Jordan averaged 32.3 points and 7 rebounds per game in the series
  • In 1998 came the final one, again after six games vs Utah. Jordan closed the series with his famous shove & jumper over Bryon Russell, averaging 33.5 points in the series

Hakeem Olajuwon

1994 Defensive Player of the Year Award

Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets won the two NBA titles between the Bulls three-peats, becoming the first non-US born player to win the award.

  • In 1994 the Rockets and Olajuwon beat the New York Knicks in a 7-game series. Olajuwon averaged 26.9 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.9 blocks per game in that series
  • In 1995, the Rockets swept the Orlando Magic in the final to make it a repeat. Olajuwon dominated with 32.8 points and 11.5 rebounds per game in four games

Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O'Neal

O’Neal became the second player (and last one) to win the Finals MVP three times in a row, leading the Los Angeles Lakers to their early 00’s three-peat.

  • O’Neal helped the Lakers win a first NBA title since 1989 in 2000, beating the Indiana Pacers in six. He averaged 38 points and 16.7 rebounds, getting a double double in each game
  • In 2001 the Lakers beat the Philadelphia 76ers in five games. O’Neal averaged 33 points, 15.8 rebounds and 3.4 blocks in the series, also putting up a double double in each game
  • In 2002 O’Neal and the Lakers completed the 3-peat, sweeping the Nets. Shaq averaged 36.3 points and 12.3 rebounds, again putting up a double double every game.

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant

Bryant won his 4th and 5th NBA championship in 2009 and 2010, finally doing it without Shaquille at his side, leaving the spotlight all to him.

  • In 2009 the Lakers beat the Orlando Magic in five games. Bryant averaged 32.4 points and 7.4 assists in the series.
  • In 2010 the Lakers won a hard fought, 7-game battle against the Boston Celtics. Bryant finished with 28.6 points and 8 rebounds per game in the series

LeBron James

LeBron James

James won the NBA title in 2012 and then again in 2013 with the Miami Heat, part of his six consecutive NBA Finals stretch, which is carrying on with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

  • In 2012 James won his first NBA championship as the Heat beat the Thunder in five games. James finished the series with 28.6 points, 10.2 rebounds and 7.4 assists, including a triple double in the final game
  • In 2013, James and the Heat beat the San Antonio Spurs in seven games to claim the repeat. James averaged 25.3 points, 10.9 rebounds and 7 assists per game, including 37 points in game 7.

 

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