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NBA History: 5 Players who were on the verge of winning unanimous MVP

NBA MVP Press Conference
Steph Curry won his unanimous MVP during the 2015-16 season
Karan Vinod
Modified 01 Apr 2020
Top 5 / Top 10

The Most Valuable Player (MVP) has been bagged by some of the greatest players to ever play the game of basketball. After sheer dominance and a highly successful season, the honors were taken home by these individuals.

A lot of players have won it multiple times over the years while a lot of players won the award just once. The likes of LeBron James, Michael Jordan have won the accolade more than once while the likes of Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, and others have only won it once in their career. Many legends of the game have been denied this prestigious award over the years due to various reasons.

Steph Curry is the only player in the history of the sport to win the award unanimously. Here we look at the five players who were nearly voted as anananimous MVP.

#5 Larry Bird - 1985-86 (73 of 78 votes)

Larry Bird won three MVPs in his illustrious career
Larry Bird won three MVPs in his illustrious career

One of the greatest players of all time, Larry Bird won his second MVP during the 1985-86 season while leading the Boston Celtics to an NBA Championship. He nearly bagged all the votes in the MVP race for his exploits during the campaign but fell five votes short of becoming the first-ever unanimous MVP the game has ever seen.

Bird was arguably the best player on the planet during that time, averaged nearly 26 points per game while grabbing 9.8 rebounds and dishing out over 6 assists throughout the season. He was shooting over 42% from range and nearly 50% from the field.

The forward led the Celtics to an incredible regular season where they were defeated just once on homecourt. They swept the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the playoffs, beat the Atlanta Hawks in the semifinals and then eventually the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals. Bird and co. went up against the Houston Rockets in the NBA Finals and won the series in six games.

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Published 26 Feb 2020, 20:38 IST
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