The game of basketball has changed drastically since the NBA first became a professional sports league in 1946. The MVP award, given to the player thought to be the most important team to their team, is a very prestigious award given to the top players in the league. The last few years have provided us with some great individual performances from some of the greatest players to grace the hardwood that have earned the honor of regular season MVP.
1) 2012-2013 LeBron James
LeBron's season this specific year was one of the main reasons why he deserves to be among the greatest players the NBA has ever seen. His numbers through this season were incredibly extraordinary in both efficiency and production. His stat line, 26.8 points, 7.3 assists, and 8.0 rebounds a game, has only been attained by four players in league history. Also, his PER was exceptional (as it always is). LeBron finished with a 31.6 PER, which led the league giving him the highest PER in the NBA for the sixth consecutive season at the time. Had it been for one mere vote, he would’ve been the first ever unanimous MVP in the history of the league. Plus, he excelled on both ends of the court equally as well. He finished second this season for Defensive Player of the Year. Also don’t forget that this was the season of the legendary heat streak in which the Heat won 27 straight games. They went on a QUARTER OF A SEASON winning streak. It’s safe to say this was probably one of the most legendary seasons in all of basketball.
2) 2016-2017 Russell Westbrook
Westbrook’s campaign from just one season ago was nothing short of amazing. Playing in 81 games he averaged 31.6 points, 10.4 assists, and 10.7 rebounds. He averaged a triple double for the ENTIRE season. Yes, I will repeat that, a triple double over the ENTIRE season. Only one other person in NBA history was able to do that, and that was the great Oscar Robertson. Mind you, he did this without his team making the playoffs and with the best player beside him being a Victor Oladipo that was a shell of himself now and pretty much nothing else. Being one of two people to average a triple double over the span of an entire season should be reason enough to be put on this list.
3) 2008-2009 LeBron James
LeBron’s first MVP title of his career was one heck of a season and served to be a preview at what he would later become. This Cavs team was really, really bad but still managed to hold the NBA’s best record that season. LeBron seriously deserved two all-star spots for his work with Mo Williams (for those who don’t know Williams made the all-star game this season). And the rest of the roster was filled out by lackluster options like Daniel Gibson, Anderson Varejao, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Not exactly eye-popping stars if you ask me. Despite this, he still managed to lead the lead in efficiency rating, second all-time since NBA-ABA merger. He led the Cavs in every major category there is. This season would serve as a precursor to the rest of his historic career.
4) 2000-2001 Allen Iverson
You bet the 6’0” superstar who was revolutionary for the game of basketball is on this list. Iverson’s season was nothing short of astonishing. This Sixers team was pretty much Iverson and nobody else. The dude drained 31.1 PPG en route to 56 wins and the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Iverson led the team with 31.6 PPG, the next highest PPG total for players on his team was 12.4 PPG. I’ll do the math for you guys, that’s 18.7 points fewer than Iverson’s total. To put this into perspective, we can look at the current Toronto Raptors have a record of 58-22. DeMar DeRozan (the team’s leading scorer) has 23.1 PPG. The next highest on the list is Kyle Lowry scoring 16.2 PPG. Hell even the third highest scorer has 12.8 points, higher than the second highest on AI’s team. This is truly the epitome of what it means to be most important to your team. Maybe not the best player of all-time, but for this one season Iverson was the best player in the league.
5) 2003-2004 Kevin Garnett
The Big Ticket’s MVP season between 2003-2004 was truly a remarkable season. He was the basis of his Timberwolves team that had decent but not great talent around him. The numbers he posted were remarkable, he led the NBA in points and rebounds while finishing with the fourth most minutes in the entire NBA. These are widely regarded as the best numbers he ever posted in his career. He also was the face of the Timberwolves, and was widely regarded as the first big time star that the Timberwolves had ever had up to that point. They were founded in 1989, and Garnett was drafted in 1995 with their top pick that year. Garnett’s MVP award with the Timberwolves helped cement his place in basketball history.