For the first time in NBA history, the NBA finals will feature four players who have won the NBA Finals’ MVP award. Two for the Miami Heat; LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, and two for the San Antonio Spurs; Tony Parker and Tim Duncan.
Of the four, Tim Duncan is the only player to win the award more than once (three times). Tony Parker won his award when playing against LeBron James in the 2007 finals, as the Spurs beat the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Duncan won his first Finals (or more accurately, the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award) MVP in 1999, as the Spurs beat the New York Knicks 4-1 in the series. He averaged 27.4 points, 14 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game in the series, leading the Spurs to their first NBA title.
In 2003, Duncan won it for the second time, as the Spurs needed six games to beat the New Jersey Nets in the finals, ending the three-peat of the Los Angeles Lakers, and starting the successful era alongside Ginobili and Parker. Duncan had one of the more dominant finals in history, averaging 26.2 points, 17 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 5.3 blocks per game, nearly recording a quadruple-double in the final game.
His third and final Finals’ MVP came in 2005, with the Spurs needing 7 games to take care of the Detroit Pistons. Duncan wasn’t as explosive, but still the best player in a rough series, averaging 20.6 points, 14.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game.
In 2006, Dwyane Wade won the Finals MVP, helping the Miami Heat win their first championship, coming back from 0-2 against the Dallas Mavericks to win in six games. He averaged 34.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, scoring at least 36 points in the final four games.
In 2007, Tony Parker became the first Spurs player to win the award not named Tim Duncan, leading the Spurs to a clean, cold sweep over the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James. Parker averaged 24.5 points per game while shooting 56.8% from the field and 57.1% from beyond the arc.
In 2012, James finally fulfilled all the expectations of him becoming an NBA champions, bringing with it a Finals MVP award, leading the Heat to a 4-1 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. He averaged 28.6 points, 10.2 rebounds and 7.4 assists, closing out the series with a 26-11-13 triple double.