The NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award or the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Award is an annual award given by the National Basketball Association (NBA), after careful consideration by a panel of eleven media members. The award has been given every year since the 1969 NBA Finals.
The Finals MVP award is given after a voting process is carried out by the media members, the player with the highest votes wins the prestigious award. The very first recipient of the award in NBA history is the LA Lakers' very own Jerry West.
The award has been duly distributed to its respective winners 33 times, 19 of which made their way to the top five players with the most number of NBA Finals MVP wins under their belt. Let's take a look at who these players are.
#5 Tim Duncan
Tim Duncan has won a record of three NBA Finals MVP awards in his career. He won his first Finals MVP Award in the 1998-99 season. This came after securing the Spurs' first NBA title against the New York Knicks. He was named the NBA Finals MVP after putting up an impressive performance in the NBA Finals, averaging 24 points and 17 rebounds.
In the 2002-03 season, Big Fundamental stunned the world with a triple-double (21 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists) in the decisive sixth game against the New Jersey Nets. Duncan's performance guaranteed the NBA title for the Spurs for the second time in the franchise's history and also secured him the NBA Finals MVP win. His third Finals MVP win came in the 2004-05 season, after he led the Spurs to a victory over the defending champions, the Detroit Pistons, snatching their third NBA title and his third Finals MVP Award.
Duncan is the 15th all-time scorer in NBA history, having scored 26,496 points in his career in 1,392 games played.
#4 Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille O'Neal is also tied with Tim Duncan for 3 NBA Finals MVP wins. The LA Lakers big man won his first award at the 1999-00 NBA Finals, scoring 41 points and securing 12 rebounds in Game 6 to snatch a win over the Indiana Pacers, which guaranteed his first championship title. He averaged 38 points and 16.7 rebounds during the series and was named the NBA Finals MVP by a unanimous decision.
Shaq won his second and third NBA Finals MVP wins to his name the following consecutive seasons. He is the second player in the history of the game to win the prestigious award three times consecutively after Michael Jordan did it from 1990-01 through to the 1992-03 season and repeated the feat in the 1995-96 to 1997-98 season.
The Hall of Famer is the 8th all-time scorer in league history with 28,596 points scored in 1,207 games played.
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