, the inaugural award recipient, is the only person to win while being on the losing team (in the 1969 NBA Finals
is the only player other than Michael Jordan to have won the award three times consecutively.
(top) is the only international player to win this award multiple times, while Tony Parker
(bottom) is the first European player to win the award.
The Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award (formerly known as the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award) is an annual National Basketball Association (NBA) award given since the 1969 NBA Finals. The award is decided by a panel of nine media members, who cast vote after the conclusion of the final round. The person with the highest votes wins the award. In at least one NBA Finals, fans balloting on NBA.com accounted for the tenth vote.12 Originally, the award was a black trophy with a gold basketball-shaped sphere at the top, similar to the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy, until a smaller trophy was introduced in 2005.34
Since its inception, the award has been given to 28 different players. Michael Jordan, who led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA Championships from 1991 to 1993 and 1996 to 1998, is the only player to win the award six times.5 Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, and Tim Duncan all won the award three times in their career while Willis Reed, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Kobe Bryant won the award twice. Jordan and O'Neal are the only players to win the award in three consecutive seasons (Jordan accomplished the feat on two separate occasions). Olajuwon and Bryant have won the award in two consecutive seasons. Abdul-Jabbar is the only player to win the award for two different teams, first with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1971, then with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1985. Johnson is the only rookie ever to win the award when he won it with the Lakers in 1980.6 Jerry West, the first ever awardee, won the award while being on the losing team in the NBA Finals.5 Olajuwon of Nigeria, who was a naturalized U.S. citizen since 1993, Tim Duncan of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Tony Parker of France (born in Belgium) and Dirk Nowitzki of Germany are the only four international players to win the award. Duncan is an American citizen, but is considered an "international" player by the NBA because he was not born in one of the fifty states or Washington, D.C.7 Parker and Nowitzki are the only winners to have been trained totally outside the U.S.; Olajuwon played college basketball at Houston and Duncan at Wake Forest.
On February 14, 2009, during the 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend in Phoenix, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced that the award would be renamed the "Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award" in honor of 11-time NBA champion Bill Russell.8
||Denotes player who is still active in the NBA
||Elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
||Denotes the number of times the player has received the Finals MVP award
||Denotes the number of times a player from this team has received the Finals MVP award
- ^ Jerry West is the only player to win the award while being on the losing team in the NBA Finals.
- ^ a b Before the 1971–72 season, Lew Alcindor changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.9
- ^ a b Hakeem Olajuwon was born in Nigeria, but became a naturalized United States citizen in 1993.10
- ^ a b c Because Tim Duncan is a United States citizen by birth, as are all natives of the U.S. Virgin Islands,11 he was able to play for the U.S. internationally.12
- ^ Tony Parker was born in Belgium to an American father and a Dutch mother. He holds French citizenship and represents France internationally.13
- ^ Mike Bresnahan (June 19, 2008). "Numbers from final game tell bad tale for Lakers". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 15, 2008.
- ^ Johnny Ludden (June 25, 2005). "MVP voting as close as the series". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved July 15, 2008.
- ^ "Game 5 Notebook: Billups Wins MVP". NBA/Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved July 16, 2008.
- ^ "Spurs crowned NBA champions". CBC Sports. June 24, 2005. Retrieved July 16, 2008.
- ^ a b "Finals Most Valuable Player". NBA/Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved July 14, 2008.
- ^ "Magic Johnson Bio". NBA/Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved October 21, 2010.
- ^ "Bargnani becomes first European top NBA draft pick". People's Daily Online. June 29, 2006. Retrieved June 16, 2008.
- ^ "The Finals MVP to Receive Bill Russell MVP Award". NBA/Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. February 14, 2009. Retrieved February 14, 2009.
- ^ "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Bio". NBA. Retrieved August 4, 2008.
- ^ "Hakeem Olajuwon Bio: 1992–93". NBA/Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved June 15, 2008.
- ^ "Virgin Islands". CIA World Factbook. Retrieved August 12, 2008.
- ^ "All-Time USA Basketball Men's Roster: D". USA Basketball. Retrieved June 16, 2008.
- ^ "Parker will be speedy foe for Nets". Sports Illustrated. Time Warner Company. June 2, 2003. Retrieved October 17, 2010.