Tag Archives: mvp

Who is the best NBA player to never win MVP?

My votes are for

  1. Jerry West – #10 on my top 10 players all time and #3 on my all time SG list, should have won MVP in 1970 imo
  2. Elgin Baylor – in my top 20 players all time and #4 on my all time SF list, never won MVP because he played in the Russell/Wilt era
  3. John Stockton – in my top 25 players all time, and #3 on my all time PG list, played in the Jordan/Magic era which might be a reason why he never won MVP
  4. Rick Barry – in my top 25 players all time, and #7 on my all time SF list, I already said in another answer that he might have gotten robbed of MVP in 1975 due to his unpopularity
  5. John Havlicek – in my top 25 players all time and #6 on my all time SF list. Unlike Barry, Hondo had a lower peak but greater longevity, and plus played in an era dominated by Russell/Wilt/Kareem
  6. Dwayne Wade – in my top 30 players all time, and #4 on my all time SG list, some people argue he was robbed of MVP in 2009
  7. Chris Paul – in my top 30 players all time, and #5 on my all time PG list, some people argue he was robbed of MVP in 2008
  8. Jason Kidd – in my top 35 players all time, and #6 on my all time PG list, its debateable that he should have won MVP in 2002/2003 but Duncan took it away from him
  9. George Gervin – in my top 40 players all time, #6 on my all time SG list, Gervin had his best years in the Magic/Bird/Kareem era so didn’t get to win MVP
  10. Patrick Ewing – in my top 50 players all time, #10 on my all time C list, Ewing just played at a time where there were so many other great Cs (Hakeem, Robinson, Shaq) and he’s probably the weakest out of those 4.

Is it true that Kobe Bryant was never the unquestionable best player in the league

It’s true that he was never the unquestionable best player in the league. During his prime (2003–2011) he usually had Duncan/Lebron to compete with, and to a lesser extent Nash and Dirk who also competed with Kobe for MVPs during that time. Since a lot of Kobe fans like to talk about his MVPs getting stolen from him by other players let’s take a look at the MVP voting shares during Kobe’s prime (which I define to be 2005–2010 ish) and lets also look at win shares since that is an objectively good look for being the ‘best player’ comparisons. If you were the unquestioned best player, you should be either #1 or #2 in win shares, and you should be either #1 or #2 spot for MVP voting.

Ok so 2005 the year that Kobe fans think Nash ‘stole’ the award from Kobe. Uhh… Kobe wasn’t even on the MVP voting list this year. So.. I’m gonna say that Kobe wasn’t the best player this year since he wasn’t even on the voting list and moreover didn’t even make the playoffs that year.

Ok how about 2006? Did Nash steal from Kobe this year? Well … not exactly. Kobe was 4th in MVP voting. Hard to make a case that someone stole from you when you were 4th place. He was 4th in win shares as well. Also, he lost in the first round of playoffs that year.

Ok how about 2007? Did Dirk steal the MVP away from Kobe? Kobe was in third place this year. He was 3rd in win shares (tied with Duncan). I’m going to say no, at least not any more than Duncan was stolen from that year.

So in 2008 Kobe won his only MVP. He wasn’t the first in win shares though (that would be CP3) – Kobe was 4th in win shares that year despite winning the MVP. Hard to make a case for being the unquestioned best player in the league when you beat your 2nd place finisher by only 200 points and was 4th in win shares.

I can’t say Lebron robbed Kobe this year because even though Kobe was second place, Lebron beat him by a 417+ point margin in MVP voting and Kobe was 6th in win shares.

And in 2010, the last year of Kobe’s true prime, he was 3rd in MVP voting, and way below in win shares as well.

So there you have it, Kobe has never led the league in both MVP voting and win shares at the same time (or even be in second place for both), in fact he was only top 2 in MVP voting for 2 years (2008, 2009) and thus I cannot consider him the unquestioned best player in the league in either his prime or his career.

What has been the trend of MVPs’ positions in the NBA, beginning with 1955?

The reason why the trend shifted from centers to forwards and guards like other people mentioned, really is because of the 3 point line. The 3 point line had such an impact on the NBA I would compare it to the institution of the shot clock. You had the before shot clock era and after shot clock era. Now the division of center dominance and guard/forward dominance really is the before 3pt era and after 3pt era. The 3 point line was instituted started in the 1979–1980 NBA season.
Before the 1980 NBA season, out of 25 MVP awards, centers received 21 with the lone non center MVPs going to Bob Cousy, Oscar Robertson and Bob Pettit.
After the 1980 NBA season (after 3pt line introduced), the only centers that have received MVP are Moses Malone, Hakeem, Robinson, Shaq. That is, after 1980, out of 27 MVP awards, 22/27 went to forwards/guards (I don’t count Duncan as center here since he played PF in his MVP seasons). That is a complete reversal of the trend before the 3pt line was introduced. And it makes sense. if 3pters are more valuable and give the team more points, less reason to have a dominating big man who only makes 2 pters.