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NBA Finals

NBA Finals 2019: Most Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Award winners

Shaquille O'Neal, Michael Jordan and LeBron James
(NBA Getty Images)

The NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award is an annual award given to the best player in the NBA Finals series, based on votes cast by a defined number of media members.

In 2009, then NBA commissioner David Stern renamed the award to "Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award", in honour of 11-time Champion and Boston Celtics' Hall of Famer Bill Russell.

The award was first given out in 1969 when Jerry West of the Los Angeles Lakers received the honour. To date, West is the only player from the losing side to have received the Finals MVP award.

Michael Jordan holds the record for the most Finals MVP awards with six to his name, all with the Chicago Bulls.

Behind him are four players who have been named the Finals MVP three times - Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, Tim Duncan, and LeBron James.

Here's a list of all the multiple-time Finals MVP award winners:

Player Teams No. Year
Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls 6 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998
Magic Johnson Los Angeles Lakers 3 1980, 1982, 1987
Shaquille O'Neal Los Angeles Lakers 3 2000, 2001, 2002
Tim Duncan San Antonio Spurs 3 1999, 2003, 2005
LeBron James Miami Heat (2), Cleveland Cavaliers 3 2012, 2013, 2016
Willis Reed New York Knicks 2 1970, 1973
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers 2 1971, 1985
Larry Bird Boston Celtics 2 1984, 1986
Hakeem Olajuwon Houston Rockets 2 1994, 1995
Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers 2 2009, 2010
Kevin Durant Golden State Warriors 2 2017, 2018
Kawhi Leonard San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors 2 2014, 2019

Jordan and O'Neal are the only players in NBA history to have received the award three years in a row.

On the other hand, James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Leonard are the only players to receive the award while representing two different teams.

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