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Ranking the 10 greatest NBA Finals MVP performances in league history

Kawhi Leonard holding the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP award in 2019.
Kawhi Leonard holding the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP award in 2019.
Modified 11 Nov 2020, 14:38 IST

Almost every team to win the NBA championship often features a strong individual performance, usually from the best player in their roster. Winning the NBA Finals MVP award is a huge achievement in a player's career.

It is one of the most prestigious awards in the NBA. In fact, winning multiple NBA Finals MVP awards is considered to be a greater achievement than winning multiple regular-season NBA MVP awards.

On that note, let us have a look at the ten greatest NBA Finals MVP performances in league history.

Ten greatest NBA Finals MVP performances in league history

The most recent winner of the NBA Finals MVP award is LeBron James, who won his fourth ring last season with the LA Lakers and also took home his fourth NBA Finals MVP award.

James ranks second all-time in the list of most NBA Finals MVP awards won, just behind Michael Jordan's haul of six.

We have seen all-time great performances from The King in NBA Finals over the years. Let us find out which of his performances and that of other players, find a mention in this list. So, without further ado, let's get started.

#10 Dwyane Wade - 2006 NBA Finals MVP

Stats: 34.7 PPG | 3.8 APG | 7.8 RPG | 2.7 STL | 47% FG.

Dwayne Wade (left) and Shaquille O
Dwayne Wade (left) and Shaquille O'Neal (right)

Dwyane Wade produced an unbelievable performance for the Miami Heat in the 2006 NBA Playoffs.

He guided the franchise to their first NBA championship, taking advantage of the great talent surrounding him. Pat Riley was the coach of that franchise, and Shaquille O'Neal was the center. Wade especially shone during the NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks and Dirk Nowitzki.

Wade put on a bevy of stellar performances in that NBA Finals series as the Heat overcame the Dallas Mavericks. Though the Heat lost the first two games of the series by double digits, Wade led his team to four straight wins to seal the series.

He scored 42, 36, 43,and 36 points respectively in games 3 to 6 to secure his first ring. Wade unsurprisingly earned the NBA Finals MVP recognition after becoming the first guard to average more than 30 points in the NBA Finals since Michael Jordan in 1998.


#9 Tim Duncan - 2003 NBA Finals MVP

Stats: 24.2 PPG | 5.3 APG | 17.0 RPG | 5.3 BLK | 49% FG.

San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio Spurs' Twin Towers

Tim Duncan won five NBA titles with the San Antonio Spurs and earned three NBA Finals MVP awards during his legendary career.

In the 2003 NBA Finals, with the Spurs and Duncan looking for their second NBA championship, the talented power forward had one of the all-time great finals series ever seen.

The Spurs handed the New Jersey Nets their second consecutive NBA Finals loss to win their second title in franchise history, with Duncan leading the charge.


Duncan had a great six-game series, averaging over 24 points and 17 rebounds per game, while also showing his great defensive abilities with five blocks-a-game and a steal.

In the series-clinching game six, Duncan got close to a quadruple-double, producing 21 points, 20 rebounds, three assists, and eight blocks.

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Published 11 Nov 2020, 14:38 IST
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