The NBA MVP is a coveted prize that every player cherishes, and fans have seen some well-known names like Stephen Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo win it multiple times in the last decade. But sometimes giving it your all in the regular season doesn't equate to postseason success.
5 Players who lost in the NBA finals despite winning the NBA MVP award
There have been legends of the game who tantalized audiences in the regular season, deservedly winning the NBA MVP award at the end of it. However, some of them couldn't go past the final hurdle, the NBA finals, despite winning the prestigious accolade.
On that note, here are five players who lost in the NBA finals despite winning the NBA MVP award -
#5 Stephen Curry, 2016
In 2015-16, the Golden State Warriors made history as they managed to better the Chicago Bulls' 72-10 regular-season record. They won 73 games, and Stephen Curry was chosen to be the NBA MVP that season. He led the league in scoring and posted 50-40-90 splits, earning the league's first unanimous NBA MVP award.
However, the Golden State Warriors dramatically lost the NBA finals that year, losing the series in seven games after blowing a 3-1 lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving turned out to be the architects of the Warriors' demise, with Irving sealing the win with a clutch dagger on Stephen Curry.
#4 Kobe Bryant, 2008
After being snubbed multiple times in the mid-2000s, LA Lakers legend Kobe Bryant won his first and only NBA MVP award in 2008. He pipped Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets to the trophy, etching his place in history. His individual success went hand in hand with the team's position as the LA Lakers made a deep playoff run following years of disappointment.
The Lakers ran into historic rivals the Boston Celtics in the NBA finals, setting up a fascinating encounter. Bryant was terrific in the seven-game series, leading all scorers and averaging 25.7 points per game. However, his valiant effort went in vain, as the LA Lakers succumbed to a loss in the NBA finals.