Best players who should have won Finals MVP
Well to get Finals MVP you have to win a ring (the only exception was Jerry West) so that excludes players like Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Patrick Ewing, Elgin Baylor, Steve Nash, George Gervin, Allen Iverson, Chris Paul who are some of the greatest never to win a ring.
Ok so out of the guys who have won a ring, who are the greatest never to get Finals MVP? Here’s my picks.
Oscar Robertson (FMVP went to Kareem in 1971) Note: Kareem deserved this one
Kevin Garnett (FMVP went to Pierce in 2008)
David Robinson (FMVP went to Duncan in 1999/2003) Note: Duncan deserved these
Elvin Hayes (FMVP went to Unseld in 1978)
Jason Kidd (FMVP went to Dirk in 2011) Note: Dirk deserved this one
Scottie Pippen (FMVP always went to Jordan) Note: Jordan deserved these
Stephen Curry (FMVP went to Iggy and Durant in 2015 and 2018)
Dave Cowens (FMVP went to Hondo and Jo Jo White) Note: Hondo deserved his
Walt Frazier (FMVP went to Reed in 1970/1973) Note: Reed deserved the first one
Pau Gasol (FMVP went to Kobe in 2009/2010) Note: Kobe deserved the first one
Gary Payton (FMVP went to Wade in 2006) Note: Wade deserved his
Bill Russell should have at least 7 or 8
Wilt Chamberlain should have one more (1967)
Bob Pettit should have one (1958)
Paul Arizin should have one (1956)
Dolph Schayes should have one (1955)
Bob Cousy should have one (1957 or 1959)
John Havlicek maybe would have had one more in the 60s
Sam Jones might have gotten one in the 60s
Kareem Abdul Jabbar should have one more (1980 over Magic Johnson)
Larry Bird should have one more (1981 over Cedric Maxwell)
Ben Wallace should have arguably got it over Chauncey Billups in 2004
If you’re a subscriber to the losing player should win Finals MVPs too, then Lebron has a good case in both 2015 and 2018 when he was carrying both of his teams on his back in the Finals
Players who should have got MVP
Elgin Baylor should have at least been in contention in 1961 or 1962. His stats were beastly.
Jerry West in 1970 should have got it over Willis Reed I think. He remains one of the greatest players never to have won MVP.
Not sure why Wes Unseld got MVP in 1969 but I think it should have probably went to Bill Russell.
John Havlicek should have got one in the 70s. Instead his teammate Dave Cowens did. Curiously, Cowens never won Finals MVP while Hondo did get Finals MVP.
Rick Barry arguably should have got the MVP in 1975 – carrying the Warriors all the way to the Finals and sweeping the favored Bullets – but it went to Bob McAdoo instead who is probably one of the least remembered MVPs.
Dr J should have been in contention in 1977 – that was his first year in the NBA and he carried the 76ers all the way to the Finals.
Michael Jordan should have gotten MVP in 1997 over Karl Malone. Karl Malone’s 1997 season wasn’t even close to his best one which was 1990.
Tim Duncan should have gotten MVP in 1999 over Karl Malone – he made an immediate impact on the Spurs and helped carry them along with Robinson to the championship that year
John Stockton curiously never won MVP either – perhaps he was too consistently good he didn’t have one season that really stood out. But then again that was the same with his teammate Karl Malone who DID win 2 MVPs so… no idea
Jason Kidd should have gotten MVP in 2002 – he led a really young Nets team to the Finals in his first year. Instead Duncan got it. Curiously his Dallas teammate Steve Nash repeated Kidd’s feat when he went to the Suns in 2005, DID win MVP, but DIDNT make the Finals.
Chris Paul should have won MVP in 2008 over Kobe.
Dwayne Wade also in 2009 which he had ridiculous year. It went to Lebron instead.
Lebron should have won MVP in 2011 but instead that went to Derrick Rose.
Russell Westbrook won MVP in 2017 but curiously despite averaging another triple double was not in contention in 2018. He wasn’t even first team NBA in 2018. It could be argued James Harden should have won it in 2017 over Westbrook as well.