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NBA players with multiple MVP awards

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Winning the most NBA MVPs is a nearly-impossible goal for players nowadays. The award has become narrative-based, and it seems like there are not objective criteria to determine what being the MVP actually means.

Is it the best player on the best team? Is it the most impactful player, even on a bad team? Or is it just the best player on Earth?

Which players have the most NBA MVPs?

Whatever the case, just a handful of players have been able to take this prestigious award home more than once in their careers.

Here, we’ll let you know about all the multiple MVP winners and the players with most NBA MVP awards.

Nikola Jokic – 2

Nikola Jokic has the opportunity to become the first player to win three consecutive MVPs since Larry Bird (1984-86), joining Larry Legend and Wilt Chamberlain as the only players to pull that off. That speaks volumes as to how impressive he’s been.


Jokic has taken the award home in 2021, and 2022, and he’s on the verge of becoming the first center to average a triple-double for a full season. Even so, some around the league argue that he’s never been the actual best player in the NBA, even though he should be considered the greatest passing big man this game has ever seen.

Giannis Antetokounmpo – 2

It seems like we’re starting to take Giannis Antetokounmpo for granted. We’re used to watching him post video game-liker numbers as if it were normal, but there’s nothing normal about being a top-five two-way player year in and year out.

The Greek Freak earned MVP honors in both 2019 and 2020, also winning Finals MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the meantime. He’s already a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and he’s just entering his prime, which is the scariest part of this.

Stephen Curry – 2

Besides being the centerpiece of one of the greatest NBA teams ever, Stephen Curry might well be the most influential player of his generation. He won his first MVP in 2015 and was even more dominant and impressive in 2016 when he became the first unanimous winner of this prestigious award.

Curry is considered the greatest shooter of all time, and for very good reason. He’s changed the way the game is played, and while some might not be fond of today’s three-point happy offenses, can you blame guys for wanting to be like him?


Steve Nash – 2

Steve Nash‘s MVPs will always be a subject of controversy. He was by far the best player on the best team in the league and was the most impactful playmaker and point guard in the NBA by a landslide at the time, but he wasn’t better than Shaquille O’Neal, to name someone.

Nash played his way into back-to-back MVPs as the offensive catalyst behind Mike D’Antoni‘s ‘seven seconds or less’ Phoenix Suns. They ultimately failed to win an NBA championship, but that team was one of the most entertaining in league history.

Tim Duncan – 2

It’s crazy to think that no one seems to talk about Tim Duncan when talking about the GOAT, but his résumé is pretty GOAT-ish if you ask me. It includes back-to-back MVP awards in 2002 and 2003 in a time when the Los Angeles Lakers were the ruling force in the league.

Duncan is one of the best two-way players to ever lace them up. He could handle the physicality of playing the four or the five and lock down the most physically imposing players in the league and then go off for 30 with those signature bank shots.

Karl Malone – 2

Karl Malone isn’t a fan favorite around NBA circles, and it goes without saying that we won’t dig deep into why. But off-court controversies aside, there’s no denying that Malone was a force of nature in the late 90s with that memorable Utah Jazz team.

The Mailman was named MVP in 1997 and 1999, becoming the oldest MVP winner thus far. He was a dominant, physical specimen in the low post, and a privileged athlete who could create separation from the most skilled rim protectors in the Association. He never won a ring, though.

Bob Pettit – 2

Bob Pettit‘s name isn’t mentioned often when talking about the all-time greats. He played at a time when the league was borderline-amateur, so most analysts, fans, and even his colleagues often look down on him and what he did.

But regardless of how soft and unimpressive his competition was, he was still the best player in the league, and that’s a fact. Thriving for the St. Louis (now Atlanta) Hawks, the big man averaged north of 26 points and 16 boards a game, earning MVP honors in 1956 and 1959.

Magic Johnson – 3

Magic Johnson is the greatest point guard in basketball history, and one that might never be passed in that distinction. Not only does he hold the highest assists-per-game average in NBA history, but he was also the flashiest, most spectacular passer ever.

Johnson was one of the focal points behind the ‘Showtime’ Los Angeles Lakers. He helped them become the juggernaut of a franchise they are nowadays, winning five NBA championships and earning MVP honors in 1987, 1989, and 1990 as the one and only ‘point forward.’

Larry Bird – 3

Looking back, one might say that Magic Johnson had the last laugh in his iconic rivalry with Larry Bird. But Bird is still widely considered one of the best shooters, players, and forwards in NBA history, being deemed ‘Kevin Durant before Kevin Durant.’

Besides being an elite trash-talker, Bird was also a versatile player with elegant footwork and unprecedented shot-making skill at the time. He was also an elite playmaker, and won MVP in 1984, 1985, and 1986. His game would be perfectly suited for today’s NBA.

Moses Malone – 3

Moses Malone is an often-forgotten guy, but one that dominated the league almost at will when he was in his prime. He was the first MVP winner to be traded the very next season after earning that distinction, and he paid his former team back with another MVP season.

Malone won a couple of MVPs with the Houston Rockets in 1979 and 1982, and then did it again with the Philadelphia 76ers in 1983. His physicality, hops, and ability to rise to the occasion made him look like a giant among children more often than not.

LeBron James – 4

LeBron James‘ fans will argue that he’s been the best player in the league for a very long time, so he should have way more than ‘just’ four MVP awards, and they might be right. Even so, he’s played in the most talented era of basketball, so other guys have been rightful winners as well.

James had to wait until 2009 to win his first MVP. He was at his physical peak with the Miami Heat and won the award in back-to-back seasons. Then, he won MVP in consecutive campaigns again in 2012 and 2013, this time back with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

He’s kept on putting up MVP-caliber numbers ever since so it wouldn’t be shocking to see him become the oldest MVP winner in league history.

Wilt Chamberlain – 4

Wilt Chamberlain’s GOAT case goes downhill when you realize that he only won a couple of NBA championships, one of which he was at the backend of his career. But he’s got all kinds of crazy records, most of which will never be topped.

Chamberlain won his first MVP in 1960 with the Philadelphia (now Golden State) Warriors, and then three straight with the Philadelphia 76ers in 1996, 1967, and 1968. He was so dominant that the league actually had to change some rules to make the game fairer when he was on the floor.

Wilt The Stilt was a privileged athlete and the only player that has been able to score 100 points in a single game. That’s perhaps the only record that could be in jeopardy, although not even the legendary Kobe Bryant was able to top his mark with that 81-point performance.

Michael Jordan – 5

Michael Jordan isn’t only the best among the best shooting guards of all time; he’s also the best player in NBA history. So, the fact that he didn’t win more MVPs will always be somewhat head-scratching, as he was by far the most dominant guy in the league.

Jordan took home MVP awards in 1988, 1991, 1992, 1996, and 1998, winning them before and after his first retirement. He used not winning the award as motivation more often than not, and that kind of pettiness and competitive spirit helped him win two three-peats and go a perfect 6-0 in the NBA Finals.

On top of that, Jordan won 10 scoring championships, an NBA record unlikely to ever be matched. He also won Finals MVP six times and is one of just five guards to be crowned Defensive Player of the Year in the history of the league.

Bill Russell – 5

Bill Russell may not be the guy with the most NBA MVPs, but he most definitely had bragging rights over every single player on Earth. He’s the winningest player in NBA history, and no one will ever match, let alone top those 11 rings he won in 13 seasons.

Russell single-handedly turned the Boston Celtics into the team to beat, setting a standard for greatness and becoming arguably the greatest defensive player to ever live. He’s second in the all-time MVP list with five, taking the trophy home in 1958, 1961, 1962, 1963, and 1965.

Some still take his accomplishments with a grain of salt because of the mediocre competition he faced, but he still dominated Wilt Chamberlain and company more often than not, and he continued to make an impact on the game as a coach and executive even long gone as he was retired.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – 6

And last but not least, we find Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sitting at the top of the list of the players with the most NBA MVPs. Once known as Lew Alcindor, Kareem entered the league after having the greatest career in college basketball ever, dominating at UCLA and establishing himself as one of the best hoopers on Earth before even setting foot on the court as a pro.

Kareem instantly turned the Milwaukee Bucks franchise around, and he led them to their first title. He won three MVPs with them in 1971, 1972, and 1974 before forcing his way out to Los Angeles to become the defensive anchor of the Showtime Lakers. There, he would go on to win five NBA championships and three more MVPs in 1976, 1977, and 1980.

Kareem is one of the few players that could legitimately have a strong case for being the greatest of all time, even ahead of the likes of Michael Jordan or LeBron James. His signature Skyhook was unblockable, and he played on both ends of the floor at the highest level for two decades, winning all kinds of accolades.

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