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Kobe Bryant will retire at the end of this season.

While this is not exactly a surprise, a true end of an era will be happening.  37 year old Los Angeles Laker, Shooting Guard, Kobe Bryant has announced on the Player’s Tribune website that this will be his final season in the National Basketball Association.

Citing that his body “knows it’s time to say goodbye”, Bryant is entering the end of a two year contract, and it was not necessarily a given that the Lakers would like to resign him, though with the recent news, the official farewell tour can begin.

Bryant has nothing left to prove as he has won the MVP once, the NBA Championship five times, was named an All Star seventeen times, two Olympic Gold medals and at third overall in scoring, Bryant is having his worst statistical season and has obviously lost a step or two.  “The Black Mamba” has been plagued with injuries over the last few seasons and the mileage over the past twenty years, including the NBA Playoffs and International participation, the toll of the game has finally caught up.

Kobe will go down as a locked in first ballot Hall of Fame entry and will enter the Hall in 2022, barring any decision to go back on this decision.

Let’s enjoy the final ride for Kobe, and let’s hope it is a good one!

Farewell Kobe

This is one of those times where it really feels like an end of an era.

The Kobe Bryant retirement tour has come to an official end and honestly we don’t know what we can say that hasn’t been said already. 

There is nobody who watched Kobe Bryant play that couldn’t agree that he didn’t want to win more than anything else in the world.  Bryant was the Los Angeles Lakers for years and was arguably the most recognizable athlete in the world at one time. 

History will paint him as one of the top ten basketball players of all-time and his final seasons brought life to what was an awful campaign for the Lakers; certainly not the way that he, or any of us for that matter had ever imagined, though yet his final game, a matchup against the Utah Jazz that has zero playoff implications will take precedence in a day where the Golden State Warriors are going for history trying to break the record for the most wins in a season and the opening games of the NHL Playoffs.

Bryant is a first ballot hall of famer and a certified winner.  What will he do next?

We don’t know, but betting against him isn’t an option.

Kevin Garnett Retires, joins Kobe and Tim as surefire 1st ballot HOFers in 2021.

We have been expecting this day all week.

Kevin Garnett of the Minnesota Timberwolves announced his retirement over his Instagram page.  This will conclude a productive 21 Year Career in which the big man Farragut Academy would cement a legacy as one of the most intense and defensive minded players of all time.

Garnett came into the NBA as the first high school player in twenty years and while many were concerned that a player out of high school could not make the jump to the NBA, though Garnett quickly silenced those critics and opened the door for high schoolers (for better or for worse) to enter the elite professional rank without having to go to college.

Drafted 5th overall in 1995 by the Minnesota Timberwolves, the 7’ 1” Garnett would make Minnesota a credible team and for many a must watch in the league.  KG would become an All Star 15 times, capture First Team All-Defensive honors 9 times and make the First Team All-NBA squad four times.  He would also win the Rebounding title four times. 

Seemingly on his shoulders, Garnett would take the T-Wolves to the playoffs multiple times but lacked the help to take them deep into the playoffs.  A shocking trade to the Boston Celtics would put together a team good enough to win the NBA Championship in 2008.  Garnett would later be traded to the New Jersey Nets and would come back to Minnesota to finish out his professional career.

Kevin Garnett will be eligible for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2021, the same year that Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan become eligible. 

Can you imagine that Hall of Fame Class?

We can, and are planning our trip to Springfield already!

The 2021 Basketball Futures are now up!

As always, we here at have been diligently working on expanding our website, and we have a small addition to our Basketball section, the 2021 Basketball Futures.

As many of you know, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame has reduced the eligibility wait by one year, thus making everyone eligible five years after their career ends in the National Basketball Association. 

We know this much.  Once you take a look at the group that is eligible and see the three certain first ballot Hall of Famers, perhaps you will wish to join us on our pilgrimage to Springfield, Massachusetts in 2021!

The 2021 Future Eligible Basketball Players are: 

Tim Duncan, a Center from St. Croix who would play his entire career with the San Antonio Spurs.  Duncan was a ten time First Team All NBA Selection, a five time NBA Champion and a two time MVP.

Mo Williams, a one time All Star with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Kobe Bryant, a ferocious scorer who took the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA Championships.  He is also a one time NBA MVP and eleven time First Team All Pro Selection. 

Kevin Garnett, a prep to star player who helped the Boston Celtics win the NBA Championship and WAS the Minnesota Timberwolves.  Garnett is a former NBA MVP and four time First Team All NBA Selection.

Elton Brand, a two time All Star.

Amar’e Stoudemire, a six time All Star who would be named to an All-NBA team five times.

Duncan, Bryant and Garnett?  All three of them will (and better) enter the Basketball Hall of Fame on their first go and if they don’t the entire institution should be blown up.

Realistically, we are not worried about that not happening and are assuming that this will be one of the greatest trios to enter the Hall of Fame together. 

The Los Angeles Lakers to retire both of Kobe Bryant's numbers

The Los Angeles Lakers have announced what many of us have long suspected they would do, they will be retiring the numbers 8 and 24 of Kobe Bryant this season. It is notable that he played ten seasons for Los Angeles in both numbers.

An All Star for 18 of his 20 seasons, Bryant retired ranked third all-time in Points and was named to 11 1st Team All-NBA rosters. More importantly, he is a five time NBA Champion.

Like Shaquille O’Neal, the Lakers will retire his number before his eventual Hall of Fame induction.

Bryant becomes the 10th player in Lakers history to have his number retired. He joins Wilt Chamberlain (13), Elgin Baylor (22), Gail Goodrich (25), Magic Johnson (32), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (33), Shaquille O’Neal (34), James Worthy (42), Jerry West (44) and Jamaal Wilkes (52).

We here at will definitely be watching when it occurs!

Kobe already knows who he wants to induct him

In four years Kobe Bryant will be eligible for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, and there is little doubt as to whether he is going in on the first ballot. He is. There is also no question that despite what should be a loaded class with Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett also likely going in, that he will be the headliner.

The only question really is who will induct him, so it was not a surprise when he was asked by Complex as to who he would have as the inductor:

"In terms of who might present, for me it’s two people: Michael Jordan or Phil Jackson. They’ve been the greatest mentors, not only in my career as an athlete, but also as a person. And what I might say is just a lot of thank yous. ‘Cause I’ve had a lotta help along the way. A lotta lotta help."

Jordan is widely considered to be the greatest player of all-time and while Kobe has entered that discussion for some, the two only have greatness in common as they never played with each other nor has Bryant played for Jordan. Phil Jackson however is another story.

Jackson coached Bryant in Los Angeles where the duo would win five NBA Titles. The coach/player was not always a pleasant one as Jackson ripped Bryant in his book, which was released during his hiatus calling him “uncoachable”. Still, when thinking of who would be the best person to induct Kobe it is hard to think of a better choice.

The countdown is on!

The Los Angeles Lakers retire both numbers of Kobe Bryant

As we methodically put together our all-time Top 50 of every team from the big four of American sports, the next goal will be to look at how each franchise honors their past players. As such it is significant news to us that this evening the Los Angeles Lakers will be retiring both the #8 and #24 of Kobe Bryant, which will mark the first time in a major North American sport where two numbers were retired in honor of one player.

This is perfectly fitting, as Bryant’s performance wearing both numbers is more than good enough to warrant retirement.

In what is now considered a lopsided trade. The Charlotte Hornets traded their 1996 13th overall pick (Bryant) for Vlade Divac. Bryant took #8 and before long he was multi-time All Star and along with Shaquille O’Neal would be part of three NBA Titles. Following the split between Shaq & Kobe, Bryant looked for a fresh start in the 2006-07 season, and he adopted #24, the same number he wore in Prep.

The overall results were pretty much the same as Bryant would again go to many All Star Games and would again win the NBA Title twice, though as #24 he would also win the Scoring Title twice. Actually, the results were scarily similar. Bryant scored only 89 more Points as #8 and 10 less Assists and regardless of what number he wore, he was regarded as one of the best.

Out of respect, the Golden State Warriors stayed out for the ceremony.

We here at would like to congratulate Kobe Bryant on this latest honor and we will see him soon as a first ballot Hall of Fame inductee.

Major Update: Our Basketball List has been revised

We have another major update here at as our Basketball list of those who should be considered for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame has gone through a significant revision.

Last April during the Final Four, 4 of our top 10 were selected (Steve Nash #1, Jason Kidd #2, Ray Allen #3 and Grant Hill #5), as was another former player in our top 15 (Maurice Cheeks #15). With four leaving our top five, the peak of our list is being overhauled but it will feature three new entries in the top three who we think will make the 2019 Basketball Hall of Fame Class the most loaded ever as we think they are all a lock to get in.

Before we get to our revised Basketball list please note that we only rank male players at this time.

Our Basketball Top Ten is:

Tim Duncan makes his first and what we expect his last appearance on our list at the top spot. Duncan did it all in the NBA winning the MVP twice and the NBA Championship five times in a career spent entirely with the San Antonio Spurs. Duncan would go to 15 All Star Games, was chosen for 10 First Team All-NBA and 8 First Team All-Defensive rosters. He is also in the top ten in Rebounds, Defensive Rebounds, Blocks, Win Shares, VORP and Games Played not to mention being a consensus All-American from Wake Forest.

It takes a player like Tim Duncan to have a megastar like Kobe Bryant debut at #2. Bryant played his entire career with the Los Angeles Lakers and he is a five time NBA Champion and one time MVP. Bryant retired third all-time in Points. While we feel Duncan was the better player than Bryant there is no doubt that both are first ballot inductees. We would take Tim over Kobe but the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame won’t see it that way. Kobe is the bona fide headliner.

Kevin Garnett arrives in at #3. Amazingly despite being a former MVP himself, a Defensive Player of the Year, and a 15 time All Star he is still behind Duncan and Bryant. Garnett was a legend with the Minnesota Timberwolves but late in his career he led a group of veterans to a NBA Championship with the Boston Celtics. He is currently 2nd overall in Defensive Rebounds and 4th in VORP. This is quite the “big three” for the Class of 2019 right?

Chris Webber returns at #4. C-Webb was a Finalist last year but will face the same stiff competition in 2019. The former Rookie of the Year is a five time All Star.

Sidney Moncrief comes in at #5. The former two time NBA Defensive Player of the Year was named an All Star five times and was also a former SWC Player of the Year.

The #6 spot also holds the same as Jack Sikma returns to that slot. The big man from Illinois Wesleyan was a seven time All Star and a former NBA Champion with the Seattle Super Sonics.

Ben Wallace moved up from #8 to #7. Wallace was a four time All Star and a four time Defensive Player of the Year and was part of the shocking Detroit Pistons team that won the 2004 NBA Championship.

Shawn Kemp also moved up one spot to #8. Kemp was a six time All Star and three Second Team All-NBA Selection.

We go way back for our #9 selection, Max Zaslofsky who also went up one rank. Zaslofsky was an All Star in 1952 and was a First Team All BAA selection three times in the late 1940’s.

For the first time, Mark Aguirre is in our top ten. He moved up one spot from #11. The longtime Detroit Piston is a two time NBA Champion and three time All Star.

There is one more entry to our Basketball list as Elton Brand debuts at #50. Brand is a former ACC Player of the Year and two time All Star.

You know what we want you to do!

Take a look at our new list cast your votes, and offers us your opinions as they help us in future lists.

As always, we here at thank you for your support and we will be bringing to you more lists and content in the future.

RIP: Kobe Bryant

This is a terrible day for sports.   This is a terrible day, period.

It was announced today on TMZ that Kobe Bryant passed away today in a helicopter crash near his home in Calabasas.  He was 41 years old.

Playing his entire career with the Los Angeles Lakers, Bryant was not just one of the best players of his era, he is considered amongst the greatest players of all-time.   

Over his career, Bryant won five NBA Championships, won two scoring titles, was an 18-time All-Star and 15-time All-NBA Selection.  He is fourth all-time in Points, and was just passed by current Laker and playoff foe, LeBron James.  Internationally, he led the United States to two Gold Medals in the 2008 and 2012 Games.

“The Black Mamba” was considered to be one of the hardest-working players in basketball, and his desire to win had few equals.  The Lakers famously retired both of his numbers (#8 and #24), marking the first time that happened in the NBA.

Bryant is entering his first year of eligibility for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, which he was expected to get in and be the headliner of a group that would also include Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Chris Bosh.  Sadly, this will now be not only a tribute to his NBA career but also of his life.

We here at would like to extend our condolences to the friends, fans, and family at this time.

The Naismith Basketball HOF announces the 2020 Finalists

The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame has announced their North American Finalists, as is tradition before the NBA All-Star Weekend.

It is a reduced number of Finalists from previous years, though this is nothing new as the Hall has never been consistent with their amount of Finalists as there are only five men and three women on this short list.  Last year, there were 10 men and three women who made it this far last year.

The five male North American Finalists are:

Kobe Bryant:  Many outlets interpreted the statement by Hall of President, Jerry Colangelo, who said he had “no doubt Kobe (will) be honored as he deserves” as acknowledgement that he is already in.  He isn’t, but there was never any doubt that he would be.  Bryant passed away in a helicopter crash last month, and the impending ceremony will likely be a tribute to the “Black Mamba.”  As a player, Bryant played his entire career with the Los Angeles Lakers, and would lead them to five NBA Championships.  He would go to 18 All-Star Games, was a 15-time All-NBA Selection and was the 2008 MVP.  The two-time United States Olympic Gold Medalist is fourth all-time in Points.

Tim Duncan:  Playing his entire career with the San Antonio Spurs, Duncan would take his squad to five NBA Championships.  “The Big Fundamental” was a 15-time All-Star, 15-time All-NBA Selection and was a two-time MVP.  The only player to win 1,000 Games with one team, Duncan is in the top ten in Rebounds and Blocks.  Collegiately, he played at Wake Forest and was the Consensus Player of the Year in 1987.

Kevin Garnett:  Garnett was a 15-time All-Star who would win the NBA Championship with the Boston Celtics in 2008.  KG played most of his career with the Minnesota Timberwolves and over his NBA career, he also won the MVP (2004), Defensive Player of the Year (2008) and was a nine-time All-NBA Selection.  Internationally, he was a member of the 2000 Olympic Gold Medal team for the United States.

Eddie Sutton:  Nominated last year, Sutton was a Head Coach with a record of 805-326 with stops at Creighton (1969-74), Arkansas (1974-85), Kentucky (1985-89) and Oklahoma State (1990-2006).  He appeared in three Final Fours, and was a four-time National Coach of the Year.

Rudy Tomjanovich (Coach):  A five-time NBA All-Star with the Houston Rockets, Tomjanovich is nominated as a Coach, and he would helm the Rockets to two NBA Titles (1994 & 1995).  He also led the United States to the Olympic Gold Medal in 2000.

The three female North American Finalists are:

Tamika Catchings:  An NCAA Champion at the University of Tennessee in 1998, Catchings played her entire WNBA career with the Indiana Fever.  She would be the league MVP in 2011, and was a five-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year.  Catchings would take the Fever to a title in 2012, and she is a four-time Olympic Gold Medal winner with the United States.

Kim Mulkey (Coach):  Mulkey has been the Head Coach at Baylor where she has taken them to three NCAA Division I Titles.  She is a two-time NCAA Coach of the Year.

Barbara Stevens:  Stevens has won over 1,000 Games in College, and took Bentley to a Division II Title in 2014.

While we have no issues with the smaller number of Finalists, the lack of consistency is frustrating.  Notable Finalists from last year, Chris Webber, Marques Johnson and Ben Wallace did not return.  Another interesting turn of events, is that Chris Bosh, who was also eligible, did not appear as a Finalist.  Not that Bryant, Duncan and Garnett needed a clear path for entry, it is next to impossible to conceive that any of those three will not be part of the Class of 2020.  

If the Hall inducts all of the Finalists from the North American male pool, it would still be less than last year.

The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Class will be announced during the Final Four.

We here at would like to congratulate the men and women who made it this far.

The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2020 is announced

On the weekend of what was supposed to be NCAA’s Final Four, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame announced today their Class of 2020.

As expected, the triumvirate of Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett have all been selected for Springfield.  They comprised the top three in our most recent list of those to consider for the Hall.

Kobe Bryant tragically passed away along with eight other people (including his daughter, Gianna) in a helicopter crash.  Bryant played his entire pro career with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he would lead the Lake Show to five NBA Championships.  Individually, he would win the 2007-08 MVP, was a 15-time All-Star and was a First Team All-NBA Selection 11 times. Internationally, Bryant won the Olympic Gold Medal twice with the United States (2008 & 2012).

Like Bryant, Tim Duncan played his entire career with one team, his being the San Antonio Spurs.  “The Big Fundamental” took the Spurs to five titles, and he was a two-time MVP.  Duncan went to 15 All-Star Games, was a 10-time First Team All-NBA Selection, an eight-time All-Defensive First Team honoree, and was the Rookie of the Year. At Wake Forest, he was also the Consensus National College Player of the Year in 1997.

Kevin Garnett did not spend his career with one team, but he is easily the greatest Minnesota Timberwolves player ever.  It was in Minnesota where he won his MVP, but he would later help the Boston Celtics win the NBA Championship in 2008, while also winning the Defensive Player of the Year.  Garnett went to 15 All-Star Games, was a four-time First Team All-NBA Selection, and would be an All-Defensive First Teamer.  

Also chosen was Eddie Sutton.  With a career record of 806-326, Sutton went to three Final Fours (one with Arkansas and two with Oklahoma State), and he was a two-time AP College Coach of the Year.  Sutton was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.

A five-time NBA All-Star, Rudy Tomjonavich was a Head Coach for the Hosuton Rockets from 1992 to 2003.  He took the Rockets to the NBA Championship in 1994 and 1995, and the United States to Olympic Gold in 2000.

All five male Finalists got in, as did all three female finalists, which were Tamika Catchings, Kim Mulkey and Barbara Stevens:

Tamika Catchings won four Olympic Gold Medals for the United States, and took the Indiana Fever to a WNBA Title in 2012.  Individually in the WNBA, Catchings went to 11 All-Star Games, was a one-time MVP, and a five-time Defensive Player of the Year.

Kim Mulley has led the Baylor Bears to three championships as their Head Coach, and she also won as a player and Assistant Coach.  She was the Coach of the Year in 2012.

Barbara Stevens was a five-time Division II Coach of the Year, and was the fifth female coach to win 1,000 Games.

Patrick Baumann enters as a Contributor.  He Swiss executive was the President of the Global Association of International Sports Federations and the Secretary General of FIBA. He passed away in 2018 at the age of 51 due to a heart attack.

We will begin the reworking of our Basketball List.  Look for that later this month.

We here at would like to congratulate the newest members of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

The Basketball HOF 2020 Class set for May of 2021

The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame has announced which day that the Class of 2000 will be officially inducted.

A three-day induction event scheduled for May 13-15 will happen in Springfield, Massachusetts, which houses the Hall of Fame.

The 2020 Class consists of Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Rudy Tomjanovich, Eddie Sutton, Kim Mulkey and Barbara Stevens.

The induction of Bryant, will be posthumous, as he died tragically in a helicopter crash on January 26 of this year.

Awards = HOF? Part Thirteen: The NBA All Star Game MVP

We here at thought it would be fun to take a look at the major awards in North American team sports and see how it translates into Hall of Fame potential.

Needless to say, different awards in different sports yield hall of fame potential.  In basketball, the team sport with the least amount of players on a roster, the dividend for greatness much higher.  In baseball, it is not as much as a great individual season does not have the same impact.

Awards = HOF?: Part Forty-Seven: The NBA Finals MVP

We here at thought it would be fun to take a look at the major awards in North American team sports and see how it translates into Hall of Fame potential.

Needless to say, different awards in different sports yield hall of fame potential.  In basketball, the team sport with the least number of players on a roster, the dividend for greatness much higher.  In baseball, it is not as much as a great individual season does not have the same impact.

Last time, we looked at the Art Ross Trophy.  This time we went back to basketball, and the NBA Finals MVP.

The award was first given out in 1969, and basketball is the most star driven team sport of the big four, so we should expect that it will have a higher yield than the others.

So how many NBA Finals MVPs have made the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame?

Let’s find out!

The following are the past players who have won the NBA Finals MVP who are eligible for the Basketball Hall of Fame and have been enshrined.

Jerry West, Los Angeles Lakers, 37.9 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 7.4 APG (1969)    

The first NBA Finals MVP was a Laker, which is not a shock, but with Jerry West, it was also from a losing team, as L.A. lost to the Boston in seven games.  West did everything he could, and considering he pulled his hamstring in Game 5, and was still performing at an elite level in Games 6 and 7, it was hard to award to anyone else.  In the regular season, West was a Second Team All-NBA Selection, and he was a First Team Selection in his first six seasons.  West played 14 years in the NBA, all with Los Angeles, and he was an All-Star in every single one of those years.  He would finally win his title as a player in 1972.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980.

Willis Reed, New York Knicks, 23.0 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 2.8 APG (1970)    

Willis Reed had a phenomenal 1969-70 year.  Reed became the first player to win the NBA MVP, the All-Star Game MVP and the Finals MVP in the same year.  Reed was injured in the Finals with a torn thigh muscle, and was forced to miss Game 6, but he willed his way to play in Game 7, where he only scored four Points, but considering he should not have been on the court at all, it was miraculous.  That display of courage helped will the Knicks over the Lakers to win the Championship.    Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Milwaukee Bucks, 27.0 PPG, 18.5 RPG, 2.8 APG (1971)      

Known at the time as Lew Alcindor, Abdul-Jabbar was only in his second season in the NBA, and he followed up being the Rookie of the Year with his first MVP and Scoring Title.  Abdul-Jabbar was the undisputed best player in the game at the time, and he led Milwaukee to a four-game sweep over the Philadelphia 76ers to win his first title, and the first for Milwaukee.    Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995.

Wilt Chamberlain, Los Angeles Lakers, 19.4 PPG, 23.2 RPG, 2.6 APG (1972)

Wilt Chamberlain was the most prolific scorers in the history of basketball, and some will say that he was the best.  “The Stilt” was near the end of his career, and at 35, and now a Laker, Chamberlain showed a more nuanced game to help Los Angeles beat the Knicks.  Over his career, Chamberlain won four MVPs, seven Scoring Titles, and two NBA Titles. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979.

Willis Reed, New York Knicks, 16.4 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 2.6 APG (2) (1973)

Willis Reed would win his second NBA Championship this year, but his All-Star years were behind him.  While he was good in the Finals, there were other teammates (Bill Bradley, Walt Frazier and Dave DeBusschere) that could have won this. Reed’s injuries compounded, and he retried a year after.  Over his career, Reed was a five-time All-Star, a Rookie of the Year, and an MVP. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982.

John Havlicek, Boston Celtics, 26.4 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 4.7 APG, 1.9 SPG, 0.0 BPG (1974)   

The Boston Celtics were loaded with superstars and they won a plethora of championships in the 1960s.  Boston was still a very good team in the 1970s, and John Havlicek was part of a lot of their success, and this year was his seventh of eight NBA Titles.  The Celtic was a 13-time NBA All-Star, a four-time First Team All-NBA player and this year he helped will the Celtics over Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the Milwaukee Bucks.  He played his entire career with the Celtics and retired in 1978.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984.

Rick Barry, Golden State Warriors, 29.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 5.0 APG, 3.5 SPG, 0.8 BPG (1975)      

The Hall of Fame career of Rick Barry was a complicated one, as he could be as moody as he was talented.  Barry began his career with the Warriors, and after a run in the ABA, he was back and he led Golden State to the title in their sweep over the Washington Bullets.  Barry would be a 12-time All-Star and he was also a six-time All-NBA and four-time All-ABA Selection.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987.

Jo Jo White, Boston Celtics, 21.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 5.8 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.0 BPG (1976)       

A member of the Celtics’ 1974 Championship, Jo Jo White was an All-Star annually from 1971 to 1977.  In 1976, The Celtics defeated the Phoenix Suns in six games, with White notably scoring 33 Points in the Game 5 triple-overtime win.  White, who was also a Second Team All-NBA player twice, played until 1981, though he did not finish his career with Boston. White also played with Golden State and the Kansas City Kings.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015.

Bill Walton, Portland Trail Blazers, 18.5 PPG, 19.0 RPG, 5.2 APG, 1.0 SPG, 3.7 BPG (1977)    

Bill Walton had a pro career that was constantly plagued with foot problems, so much so that the famed Grateful Dead fan missed three full years during his prime.  In 1976-77, Walton was mostly healthy, and he led Portland to an upset over the favored 76ers.  Walton, who was a two-time All-Star, won a second title with the Boston Celtics in 1985-86, when he won the Sixth Man of the Year Award.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.

Wes Unseld, Washington Bullets, 9.0 PPG, 11.7 RPG, 3.9 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.1 BPG (1978)

Elvin Hayes was by far the better statistical performer in the Bullets’ 1978 championship, but the popular Wes Unseld won this honor on the strength of his defense.  Unseld was a five-time All-Star, and he played his entire career with the Baltimore/Washington franchise.  Unseld’s 9.0 PPG is the lowest of any NBA Finals MVP.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988.

Dennis Johnson, Seattle SuperSonics, 22.6 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 6.0 APG, 1.8 SPG, 2.2 BPG (1979)

In the only NBA Championship of the existence of the Seattle SuperSonics, Dennis Johnson was an All-Star for the first of five times over his career.  This was a star-making performance for Johnson, who would later win two more NBA Titles as a member of the Boston Celtics.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.

Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers, 21.5 PPG, 11.2 RPG, 8.7 APG, 2.7 SPG, 0.3 BPG (1980)  

For the first and to date only time in the history of the NBA Finals MVP, a rookie and/or Rookie of the Year won the award. Johnson came in to Los Angeles at the start of the season as the new star of the team and the number one pick also went from NCAA Champion to NBA Champion.  The Lakers won over the Sixers in six games and Magic was now considered one of the best clutch players in the NBA.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002.

Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers, 16.2 PPG, 10.8 RPG, 8.0 APG, 2.5 SPG, 0.3 BPG (2) (1982)      

Johnson and the Lakers again faced Philadelphia, and while Johnson’s star was rising, he had a tumultuous 12 months prior with injuries and clashes with management.  Winning cures everything, and Johnson was again money in their six-game series win.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002.

Moses Malone, Philadelphia 76ers, 25.8 PPG, 18.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.5 SPG, 1.5 BPG (1983)     

This was the first season of Moses Malone in a Philadelphia 76ers uniform after being a two-time MVP with the Houston Rockets. Malone was an NBA All-Star for the sixth of twelve straight years, and he also won his fourth of six Rebounding Titles.  Malone won his third MVP (and last MVP), and the Sixers finally won the title and Malone was incredible in their sweep over the Lakers.  He played until 1995, with stops in Atlanta, Milwaukee, Philadelphia (again) and San Antonio.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001.

Larry Bird, Boston Celtics, 27.4 PPG, 14.0 RPG, 3.6 APG, 2.1 SPG, 1.1 BPG (1984)        

Larry Bird was already a superstar player and an NBA Champion.  This was his fifth season in basketball, and he was an All-Star each year, but this year he was the elite player, on a championship team on a legendary franchise. Bird helped topple Magic Johnson and the favored Lakers, and he became a legend in the process.  Notably, Bird also won the MVP for the first time.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Los Angeles Lakers, 25.7 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 5.2 APG, 1.0 SPG, 1.5 BPG (2) (1985)       

It was 14 years since Abdul-Jabbar won his first Finals MVP, and a lot happened since that first win.  The big man won five more MVPs, bringing his total to six, and he took the Lakers to titles in 1980 and 1982.  Abdul-Jabbar was no longer the best player, that was Magic Johnson, but he was still a great player, and was great in their six-game win over the Celtics.  Abdul-Jabbar played until 1989, and he was named an All-Star in all but one of his seasons.  He was also a ten-time First Team All-NBA Selection, and a First Team, All-Defensive Player five times.  At the time of his retirement, he was the all-time leader in Games Played, Points, Field Goals and Minutes Played.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995.

Larry Bird, Boston Celtics, 24.0 PPG, 9.7 RPG, 9.5 APG, 2.7 SPG, 0.3 BPG (2) (1986)     

Bird won the MVP and Finals MVP in 1984, and in the year after, he was “just” the MVP.  Bird did reach the Finals, but they lost to the Lakers. Boston made it to the Finals again in 1986, with Bird winning his third straight MVP, however this time they were opposed by the Houston Rockets.  Bird and the Celtics won in six games, with Bird leading Boston to a lopsided Game Six win.  This year would be the last MVP and Title for Bird, who began to suffer back issues, but played until 1992.  Bird was an All-Star every year of his career but one, and he went on to be the only man in NBA history to win the Rookie of the Year, MVP, All-Star Game MVP, Finals MVP, Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year.  This will likely never happen again.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998.

Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers, 26.2 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 13.0 APG, 2.3 SPG, 0.3 BPG (3) (1987)      

Magic Johnson became the first player to win the NBA Finals MVP three times, and his 13.0 APG is the most ever by a Finals MVP. Johnson’s Laker beat the Celtics in six, and this season, he was also named the league MVP.  Johnson won the MVP again in 1988 and 1990, and this year was his fourth NBA Title of five as a player.  Johnson would test positive for HIV in 1991, retiring abruptly, but he came back for the 1992 All-Star Game and briefly in 1996.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002.

James Worthy, Los Angeles Lakers, 22.0 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 4.4 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.6 BPG (1988)     

James Worthy was the first overall pick of the 1982 Draft, and he would play his entire career with the Lakers.  The Small Forward went to his first of seven All-Star Games in 1986.  The 1988 championship was Worthy’s third (and last), but his “Big Game James” was at full-force in this seven-game series win over the Detroit Pistons.  Worthy played until 1994, and would also be a two-time Third Team All-NBA Selection.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003.

Joe Dumars, Detroit Pistons, 27.3 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 6.0 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.3 BPG (1989)      

Joe Dumars may have been part of the “Bad Bo Pistons” but he was not exactly a player who fit that mold.  No matter.  Dumars arrived this season and was the highest scorer with his 27.3 PPG in Detroit’s sweep of the Lakers.  Dumars would later go to six All-Star Games, and he would play his entire career with the Pistons.  He retired in 1999, and would win another championship as a Pistons Executive in 2004. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.

Isiah Thomas, Detroit Pistons, 27.6 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 7.0 APG, 1.6 SPG, 0.4 BPG (1990)    

Isiah Thomas was the face of the Pistons for years, and it is fitting that he was one of the players who won the Finals MVP. Thomas the top scorer in the five-game series win over Portland, and this year he was an All-Star for the ninth time of what was 12 straight.  Thomas was a three-time First Team All-NBA choice, and he played his entire career with the Pistons, retiring in 1994.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000.

Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls, 31.2 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 11.4 APG, 2.8 SPG, 1.4 BPG (1991)

The Chicago Bulls had arrived, and Michael Jordan was their king.  We could go one step further.  Michael Jordan was the king of the entire sport.  No, one more step.  He was the king of all sports!  This was the first title for Jordan and the Bulls and Jordan won his second MVP. Jordan was Chicago’s leading scorer in the first four games, of what was a five-game series win over the Lakers.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.

Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls, 35.8 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 6.5 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.3 BPG (2) (1992)       

Jordan was an MVP for the third time, and while he was not the first man to become the NBA Finals MVP for a second time, he was the first to win it in back-to-back years.  Jordan and the Bulls beat the Portland Trail Blazers in six games, and he was Chicago’s leading scorer in every game.  Jordan was also the leading scorer regardless of the team in five of those games.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.

Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls, 41.0 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 6.3 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.7 BPG (3) (1993)       

Jordan lost out on the MVP to Charles Barkley, but Jordan was not going to lose out to Barkley in the NBA Finals.  Chicago defeated Phoenix in six games and the Bulls would “Three-peat”, a term they coined.  Jordan’s 41.0 PPG is the highest ever in NBA Finals history, and conceivable it could stay like that for decades.  Jordan became the second player after Magic Johnson to win the Finals MVP three times, but Jordan was the first to do it three consecutive years.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.

Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston Rockets, 26.9 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 3.6 APG, 1.6 SPG, 3.9 BPG (1994)   

Hakeem Olajuwon made history this year as the first non-American born player to win the Finals MVP.  The Nigerian born Olajuwon was the key to defeating the New York Knicks in the seven-game series, as he outplayed New York’s star, Patrick Ewing. Olajuwon was also named the league MVP. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.

Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston Rockets, 32.8 PPG, 11.5 RPG, 5.5 APG, 2.0 SPG, 2.0 BPG (2) (1995)     

Olajuwon and the Rockets successfully defended their NBA Championship, and Olajuwon was statistically better in his second win than the was in the first.  The Rockets swept the Orlando Magic, who made their Finals debut.  Olajuwon played with the Rockets until 2001, and he was a 12-time All-Star, two-time Defensive Player of the Year and a six-time First Team All-NBA Selection.  Olajuwon retired in 2002 after one final year with the Toronto Raptors.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.

Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls, 27.3 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.2 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.2 BPG (4) (1996)       

Michael Jordan was back after an attempt to make Major League Baseball, and the Bulls were ready to dominate again.  Chicago defeated the Seattle SuperSonics in six, and Jordan won the MVP for the fourth time.  Jordan was again Chicago’s leading scorer in all of the games, and he was the first player to be named the Finals MVP on a fourth occasion.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.

Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls, 32.3 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 6.0 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.8 BPG (5) (1997)       

Jordan made history again with his fifth NBA Championship Ring and fifth Finals MVP.  Jordan, who was not the league MVP this year, led his Bulls to a six-game win over the Utah Jazz.  Jordan was his team’s top scorer in five games, and in assists in all of them.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.

Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls, 33.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.8 SPG, 0.7 BPG (6) (1998)       

For the second time, the Chicago Bulls “three-peated” and Jordan did the same with his record sixth NBA Finals MVP.  Jordan had the what looked to be the final shot of his career in Game Six, as he sank the series winner over the Jazz.  Jordan was also named the league MVP for the fifth time.  Jordan retired, but came back with the Washington Wizards in 2001 for two years. Michael Jordan is the best player of all-time, and that should be an undisputed fact.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.

Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs, 27.4 PPG, 14.0 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.0 SPG, 2.2 BPG (1999)       

This was the second season of Tim Duncan’s career, and “The Big Fundamental” took over as the big star of the Spurs for David Robinson.  Duncan was the top scorer and rebounder in three of the games, which was a five-game series win over the New York Knicks.  Duncan did not go to the All-Star Game this year, but he was named a First Team All-Defensive and First Team All-NBA player.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2020.

Shaquille O’Neal, Los Angeles Lakers, 38.0 PPG, 16.7 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.0 SPG, 2.7 BPG (2000)

This championship was the beginning of the new Lakers dynasty, starring a dominant Shaquille O’Neal and a rising Kobe Bryant. O’Neal and the Lakers beat the Indiana Pacers in six, and in every single game, was his team’s leading scorer and rebounder.  In fact, there was only one game where a Pacer had more boards (game six) than O’Neal. O’Neal was a First Team All-NBA selection, and he was named the league MVP.   Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016.

Shaquille O’Neal, Los Angeles Lakers, 33.0 PPG, 15.8 RPG, 4.8 APG, 0.4 SPG, 3.4 BPG (2) (2001)    

Shaq and the Lakers dispatched the Philadelphia 76ers in five games, and O’Neal was his usual dominant self, although Kobe Bryant was approaching being his equal.  O’Neal was again a First Team All-NBA Selection.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016.

Shaquille O’Neal, Los Angeles Lakers, 36.3 PPG, 12.3 RPG, 3.8 APG, 0.5 SPG, 2.8 BPG (3) (2002)    

O’Neal became the second player to win the NBA Finals MVP in three straight years, and he again was a First Team All-NBA Selection, an honor, he would secure in the next four seasons.  O’Neal also was the NBA leader in PER for the fifth straight year. In this year’s Finals, Los Angeles swept the Nets, but this was the shocking end of the Kobe/Shaq dominance. They made it to the Finals again in 2004, but lost to the Pistons, and the two could no longer work together. O’Neal won a fourth title with the Miami Heat, and he would later play for Phoenix, Cleveland and Boston, retiring in 2011.   Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016.

Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs, 24.2 PPG, 17.0 RPG, 5.3 APG, 1.0 SPG, 5.3 BPG (2) (2003)  

Duncan was the MVP in 2001-02, and he was named the MVP again this year, and he was in his fifth consecutive season as a First Team All-NBA selection.  In this NBA Finals, the Spurs beat the New Jersey Nets in six games, and Duncan’s 5.3 Blocks per Game are by far a Finals record.  In Game Six, Duncan was two Blocks away from a quadruple-double and replays show that he likely should have had two more Blocks.  Nevertheless, Duncan was incredible in this series.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2020.

Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs, 20.6 PPG, 14.1 RPG, 2.1 APG, 0.4 SPG, 2.1 BPG (3) (2005)  

Duncan joined the rare three-time NBA Finals club in 2005, and Duncan led the Spurs in a seven-game series win over the Detroit Pistons.  2005 also saw Duncan named to his seventh straight First Team All-NBA.  This year ended a streak, but he earned that honor two more times.  Duncan won two more NBA Titles, was a 15-time All-Star and he played his entire career with the Spurs, retiring in 2016.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2020.

Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, 32.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 7.4 APG, 1.4 SPG, 1.4 BPG (2009)        

Bryant was dominant in his first NBA Championship win as the top banana.  The Lakers took out Orlando in five games, and this was a year after he won his lone MVP award.  This season also saw Bryant earn his seventh First Team All-NBA Selection.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2020.

Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, 28.6 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 3.9 APG, 2.1 SPG, 0.7 BPG (2) (2010)   

Bryant 5, O’Neal 4.  That was on the mind of many as Bryant eclipsed his former teammate in rings, and Bryant climbed another rung on the basketball pyramid. Bryant played until 2016, all of which were with the Lakers.  He would go to 18 All-Star Games, 11 First Team All-NBAs and would have a legacy where his name is spoken amongst the best basketball player ever.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2020.


The following are the players who have won the NBA Finals MVP who are eligible for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and have not been selected:

Cedric Maxwell, Boston Celtics, 17.7 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 2.8 APG, 0.2 SPG, 1.0 BPG (1981)  

Cedric “Cornbread” Maxwell was Boston’s leading scorer in three of Boston’s games, and he stepped up when his teammate, Larry Bird was focused on by Houston’s defense.  Maxwell would help the Celtics win the 1984 NBA Championship, and he played until 1988.  Maxwell is the first player to win the NBA Finals MVP who never was an All-Star.  Eligible Since 1994.  Unranked on

Chauncey Billups, Detroit Pistons, 21.0 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 5.2 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.0 BPG (2004)       

The Detroit Pistons five-game series win over Shaq, Kobe and the Lakers will likely be the biggest upset ever in the NBA Finals, and it will always be looked more as the Lakers losing than the Pistons winning. Regardless, Billups was the Point Guard of a very balanced team, and for years, there were GM trying to mimic the Pistons title.  Billups would later be named to five All-Star Games, and he went on to play with Denver, New York, and the Los Angeles Clippers before returning to Detroit and retiring in 2004.  Billups is the most likely player on the ’04 Championship team to enter the Hall.  As of this writing, there are none.  Eligible Since 2018.  Unranked on

Let’s update our tally, shall we?

Award in Question

Percentage of recipients who have entered the HOF

Percentage of recipients by year who have entered the HOF.




NHL Art Ross



NBA Finals MVP



NHL Norris



NBA All-Star Game MVP



NHL Conn Smythe



NFL Bert Bell Award



NFL AP Offensive Player of the Year






NHL Lady Byng



NFL Defensive Player of the Year



NFL Super Bowl MVP



NBA Defensive Player of the Year



NHL Vezina



NBA Rookie of the Year






NFL Pro Bowl MVP



MLB Lou Gehrig Award



MLB Roberto Clemente Award



MLB/NL/AL Cy Young Award



MLB Babe Ruth Award



NHL Frank J. Selke Trophy



MLB World Series MVP



MLB Hutch Award



NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year



NHL Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy



MLB Edgar Martinez Award



MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Designated Hitter)



MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Shortstop)



MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove



NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year



MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Catcher)



MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (Second Base)



MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (Shortstop)



MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Pitcher)



MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Second Base)



MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (Outfield)



MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Outfield)



MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (Third Base)



MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Third Base)



MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (First Base)



MLB (NL/AL) Rookie of the Year



MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (Catcher)



NBA Most Improved Player of the Year



MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (First Base)



NFL AP Comeback Player of the Year



So, who is up next?

The following are the players who have won the NBA Finals MVP in the NBA who have retired but have not met the mandatory years out of the game to qualify for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame:

Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat, 34.7 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 3.8 APG, 2.7 SPG, 1.0 BPG (2006)

Shaquille O’Neal won his fourth NBA Title, but it was Dwyane Wade who was the star of the show by far in Miami six-game series win over Dallas.  This was Wade’s first title, and it was also the first championship for Miami.  Years later, Wade was joined by LeBron James and Chris Bosh, and the trio would win two NBA Championships.  Wade left Miami for brief runs in Chicago and Cleveland, but he returned appropriately to the Heat to finish his career, retiring in 2019. Over his career, Wade was an All-Star 13 times, and was an All-NBA Selection eight times, with two of them being First Team.  Eligible in 2023.

Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs, 24.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.3 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.0 BPG (2007)

Tony Parker was not only the first Frenchmen to win the Finals MVP, but also the first European to win it.  This season, the Spurs swept LeBron James and he Cleveland Cavaliers and Parker was the leading scorer of the series.  Parker was a six-time All-Star, a four-time NBA Champion and he played until 2019, all with the Spurs with the exception of his final year, which was in Charlotte.  Eligible in 2023.

Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics, 21.8 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 6.3 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.3 BPG (2008)

Paul Pierce was the star of the Celtics for years but there was only so much he could do.  Boston’s fortune changed this year when they added Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, and they won the NBA Championship by beating Los Angeles in six games.  Pierce was a ten-time All-Star, all of which occurring as a Boston Celtic.  He was with Boston until 2013, and he finished his career in 2017 after playing for Brooklyn, Washington and the Los Angeles Clippers.  Eligible in 2021.

Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks, 26.0 PPG, 9.7 RPG, 2.0 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.7 BPG (2011)

The Dallas Mavericks were not supposed to beat James, Wade and Bosh, but they did, and were led by Dirk Nowitzki, their German star who played his entire career in Dallas.  Nowitzki was four years removed from his MVP, and while he was older, he was wiser, and the Mavericks won their first NBA Title.  Nowitzki was a 14-time All-Star and a four-time First Team All-NBA player.  Eligible in 2023.


The following are the players who have won the NBA Finals MVP who are still active.

LeBron James, Miami Heat, 28.6 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 7.4 APG, 1.6 SPG, 0.4 BPG (2012)

LeBron James finally won the big one, and he did it by taking over as the primary weapon for the Heat, eliminating any doubt between him and his friend, Dwyane Wade.  James was Miami’s leading scorer and rebounder and Miami soundly beat Oklahoma City in five.  James was also named the MVP for the third time in his career.  35 Years Old, Playing for the Los Angeles Lakers.

LeBron James, Miami Heat, 25.3 PPG, 10.9 RPG, 7.0 APG, 2.3 SPG, 0.9 BPG (2) (2013)

LeBron and the Heat successfully defended their title in a grueling seven-game win over San Antonio.  James did it all as he was Miami’s leader in Points, Rebounds, Assists and Steals, and he was also the league MVP.  The mileage that James logged this year was staggering but he got the job done.  35 Years Old, Playing for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs, 17.8 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.6 SPG, 1.2 BPG (2014)

A new star emerged with San Antonio, as Duncan, Parker and Manu Ginobili were getting older but with Kawhi Leonard and a team-first ethic, the Spurs beat the Heat in five.  Leonard went on to win two Defensive Player of the Year Awards, and was a First Team All-NBA Selection twice for the Spurs before he became disenchanted with the team.  He would be traded to the Toronto Raptors before the 2018-19 season.  28 Years Old, Playing for the Los Angeles Clippers.

Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors, 16.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 4.0 APG, 1.3 SPG, 0.3 BPG (2015)

This was the first time that an NBA Finals MVP did not start every game, as Andre Iguodala was incredible in his role, though arguably Steph Curry, who outscored Iggy by almost 10 Points per Game could have won it without a backlash.  The Warriors won by beating LeBron and the Cavaliers in six.  28 Years Old, Playing for the Los Angeles Clippers.

LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers, 29.7 PPG, 11.3 RPG, 8.9 APG, 2.6 SPG, 2.3 BPG (3) (2016)

As impressive as LeBron was in the 2013 Finals, what James did in 2016 had to feel infinitely more fulfilling.  James finally brought the title to Cleveland, and to do so they had to defeat a powerful Golden State Warriors team.  In the seven-game series, James led all players in all five major offensive categories.  Seriously, how impressive was that?  35 Years Old, Playing for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, 35.2 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 5.4 APG, 1.0 SPG, 1.6 BPG (2017)

Kevin Durant won the MVP in 2014 with the Oklahoma City Thunder, and he was a perennial All-Star, but he grew frustrated. When he was a free agent in 2016, he jumped to the Golden State Warriors, joining a super team.  The Warriors were spectacular, and Durant led his new team to a title, despite many people cheering against KD.  31 Years Old, Playing for the Brooklyn Nets.

Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, 28.8 PPG, 10.8 RPG, 7.5 APG, 0.8 SPG, 2.3 BPG (2) (2018)

Durant repeated as NBA Champion and Finals MVP, and the Warriors would obliterate the Cavaliers in a four-game sweep.  Durant would be a First Team All-NBA Selection for the sixth time in his career.  31 Years Old, Playing for the Brooklyn Nets.

Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors, 28.5 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 4.2 APG, 2.0 SPG, 1.2 BPG (2) (2019)

The Toronto Raptors rolled the dice, trading their best player, DeMar DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard.  It was a huge gamble, as Leonard had only one year left on his contract, and was unlikely to stay in Canada.  Leonard only played the one year, but he led the Raptors to their first ever NBA Championship, and he became the first player ever to win the Finals MVP in both conferences.  28 Years Old, Playing for the Los Angeles Clippers.

It should come as no surprise that the Finals MVP yield so many Hall of Famers.  Basketball is more star driven sport than the other team sports, and it is where the best have the most opportunity due to minutes logged and the nature of the game.

So, what is up next?

We return to baseball, but it will be a quick one, as we look at the Comeback Player of the Year.  That award has only come into existence in 2005, so it won’t be a long read!

As always, we thank you for your support, and look for that soon.

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