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The 15 NBA Players with Most MVP Awards in NBA History

When Nikola Jokic was officially crowned the 2021-2022 NBA’s Most Valuable Player, the 7-0 center from Serbia became one of a handful of players that won the regular season MVP  for the second season in a row.

Getting the MVP award is already an incredible achievement by itself, but winning it twice in a row is a true testament to Jokic’s impact on the court. Jokic’s multiple MVP awards got us thinking: which NBA players in the history of the league have won the most NBA MVP awards?

NBA Players with Most MVPs

Out of the all the players that have won the MVP, all but one of them are on the NBA’s 75th Anniversary team. There are only fourteen players in the history of the league have won multiple MVPs. Let’s take a look at the players with with the most MVPs in NBA history.

1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – 6 (1971, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1980)

Legends profile: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar | NBA.com

One of the most-frustrating things about all this talk about Mount Rushmores and best players of all-time discussion is that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar often gets overlooked. Abdul-Jabber won six NBA MVPs; 3 MVPs with the Milwaukee Bucks and another 3 with the Los Angeles Lakers. 

He was a force to be reckoned with. Not only did he put the ball in the basket, but he was a winner; winning six NBA championships in his career. And even though today’s game has significantly shifted away from post play, he is still the league’s all-time leading scorer with his patented skyhook that was simply unstoppable.

2. Bill Russell – 5 (1958, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1965)

Bill Russell was the first player to ever win 3 MVPs in a row. His Boston Celtics dominated the NBA from the mid-50s till the end of the 60s, winning 11 championships. He also currently holds the record for most championships won by any player with 11 rings to his name.

 3. Michael Jordan – 5 (1988, 1991, 1992, 1996, 1998)

Why did Michael Jordan switch his jersey number from 23 to 45 when he returned to the Bulls? | Sporting News

Michael Jordan is tied with Bill Russel with 5 MVPs. This should come as no surprise to anyone. Jordan is considered to be the GOAT, and his Chicago bulls dominated the 90s era of basketball with 2 3-peats. Jordan won his 1st MVP in just his 4th season in the NBA, averaging 35 points, 5.9 assists, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.2 steals per game according to NBC sports.

4. Wilt Chamberlain – 4 (1960, 1966, 1967, 1968)

Noting all of Wilt Chamberlain’s insane scoring accomplishments, you might think he may have more than four NBA MVPs. Four, however,  is nothing to sneeze at as Chamberlain was the second player after Bill Russell to win the MVP 3 times in a row  In fact, he would have had a couple more MVPs under his belt if it weren’t for Russell who won the award in seasons where Chamberlain averaged 50.4 points and 44.8 points.

4. Lebron James – 4 (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013)

LeBron James extends, reportedly for two years, with Lakers | NBA.com

Tied with Chamberlain with four MVPs to his name, Lebron James caps off our top five list of players with the most MVPs in NBA history. Even though Lebron has only four MVPs, it can be argued that he deserved to win it a couple more times, especially after leading the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers to championships. 

There are a lot of legendary NBA players that you would be surprised to hear that have only one MVP in their illustrious careers including Shaquille O’Neal, Oscar Robertson, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Dirk Nowitzki. Winning more than one really puts you into an elite group of superstars. Here’s that list.

NBA Players with Multiple MVP Awards
#   MVPs Player   Years
1 6 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 1971; 1972; 1974; 1976; 1977; 1980
2 5 Bill Russell 1958; 1961; 1962; 1963; 1965
2 5 Michael Jordan 1988; 1991; 1992; 1996; 1998
4 4 Wilt Chamberlain 1960; 1966; 1967; 1968
4 4 Lebron James 2009; 2010; 2012; 2013
6 3 Larry Bird 1984; 1985;1986
6 3 Magic Johnson 1987; 1989; 1990
6 3 Moses Malone 1979; 1982; 1983
9 2 Bob Petit 1956; 1959
9 2 Karl Malone 1997; 1999
9 2 Tim Duncan 2002; 2003
9 2 Steve Nash 2005; 2006
9 2 Steph Curry 2015; 2016
9 2 Giannis Antetokounmpo 2019; 2020
9 2 Nikola Jokic 2021; 2022

There you have it. Stay tuned next season to see if Nikola Jokic can win his 3rd consecutive MVP title, tying Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain for most MVPs in a row.

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