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NBA Awards: 5 Biggest MVP Snubs Of All Time

Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 16:29 IST

2017 NBA Awards Show
2017 NBA Awards Show

The second edition of the annual NBA Awards ceremony is scheduled to start tonight at 9 PM, Eastern Time. This is one of the closer MVP races in recent memory, featuring superstars James Harden, LeBron James and Anthony Davis going head-to-head as the top 3 finishers on the podium.

Also read: Ranking the Greatest MVP Seasons ever

All 3 of them have had historic seasons by any standards. While James continues to produce Jordanesque performances in his 15th season, Harden seems to finally have jumped over the MVP bump and looks all set to net his first MVP trophy. Not to be forgotten in this battle is Anthony Davis, without whom the Pelicans could never have finished in the playoff berths in the Murderer's Row that is the Western Conference playoff race.

All 3 of them have genuine cases as the truly most valuable players in the Association during the regular season, which is why 2 of them would be right to feel snubbed after the announcement of the award. So we decided to look up MVP races from the past, and we found quite a few snubs to put on this list.

We only have room for the grossest miscarriages of justice here, and the entire list is populated by all-time greats, who feature in most people's top 10 all-time players list.

#5 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 1972-73

Milwaukee Bucks vs Golden State Warriors, 1972 Playoffs
Milwaukee Bucks vs Golden State Warriors, 1972 Playoffs

The greatest center of all time was the best player in the league right from the moment he set foot on an NBA court. Lew Alcindor won Rookie of the Year honours with Wilt-like numbers in his very first NBA season - 28.8 points, 14.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game - but didn't wind up winning the MVP award for the simple reason that he was a rookie.

Well, he endured a worse snub later on in his career. The 1972-73 NBA season was Dave Cowens' best, statistically speaking. He averaged 20.5 points, 16.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game, and he definitely deserved to be in contention for the award.

But these numbers pale in comparison to Kareem's, who put up 30.2 points, 16.1 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game for a team that was much more in need of his contributions than the Celtics needed Cowens'. The clearest proof of this is the fact that Kareem's Win Shares per 48 minute numbers are nearly twice that of Cowens' numbers.


Abdul-Jabbar wound up his NBA career with the most MVPs won by any player (6), but he had a legitimate argument for at least 2 more of those awards.

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Published 25 Jun 2018, 18:41 IST
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