5 Youngest Finals MVP Winners in NBA History
- Here are some of the greatest young talents ever to steal the show at the biggest stage of them all.
The Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award is bestowed annually upon the best individual performer during the most prominent 7 Game series marking the end of the playoffs and the NBA season. Though not as valuable as the regular season MVP award, it holds value in terms of the extraordinary efforts put in when it matters the most.
Teams fight it out throughout the 82-game long season, all in a quest to put themselves in a position to have a chance at winning the Larry O'Brien trophy. The NBA Playoffs necessitate the ability to make the right play under pressure, in turn, requiring prior post-season experience. Franchises then expect their veterans to step up and handle the bright lights at the grandest stage in basketball.
When the clock is running down on you, and all you've done for the past 82 plus games is on the line, it requires special balls to take the initiative. Youngsters usually falter at such pivotal moments owing to the intimidating setup which transcends the concept of just putting the ball in the basket and becomes something way more.
The following men (then youngsters) didn't act their age when the moment called and contradicted everything that has been presumed above.
#5 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - 23 Years Old (1971)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, also called (until 1971) Lew Alcindor, byname of Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, dominated the game throughout the 1970s and early ’80s. As a followup to the Bucks' inception in 1969, Kareem teamed up with Oscar Robertson to deliver the fastest franchise championship in NBA History in 1971 by sweeping the Baltimore Bullets 4-0 in the Finals.
In just his second season in the league, Lew Alcindor averaged 26.6 points and 17.0 rebounds per game in the 1970-71 playoffs, shattering all doubts that were directed towards his future greatness.
His playoffs record boasts of 5,762 points in 237 post-season games along with 2 NBA Finals MVPs (in 1971 and 1985). By the time his career ended, he was leading the NBA in terms of most field goals made (15,837), and most minutes played (57,446) as well.
He retired in 1989 and is widely considered one of the greatest players in NBA history.