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The NBA has awarded MVP trophies every year since the 1955-56 season. Despite the annual award being more than half a century old, some sports fans are still confused about when and how the league MVP is chosen each year. Here’s a look at the details and history of MVP honors in the NBA. 

Who are the NBA MVP voters? 

There have been controversial picks over the years when it comes to NBA MVP honors. However, the selection process is pretty straightforward. As Diario AS reports, the league MVP panel consists of 100 voters hand-selected by the NBA. These 100 voters consist of sportswriters and broadcasters across the U.S. and Canada. 

Through the voting system established by the NBA, each of these 100 voters gets to nominate their five top NBA players. The voters rank their five selections, with points awarded on a scale of 10-7-5-3-1. Of course, their first pick is awarded 10 points, and their fifth pick is awarded one point. The NBA player who receives the most total votes from the panel earns league MVP honors. 

When is the MVP announced for the NBA?

The voting for MVP and other annual awards, like Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and Coach of the Year, are tallied up at the end of the regular season. The winners of these regular-season awards are announced during the playoffs each year. 

The league announced the 2022-23 MVP on May 2, 2023, during the Conference Semifinals. As reported, the finalists of this award included Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, Nikola Jokić of the Denver Nuggets, and Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers. 

Antetokounmpo is a two-time MVP winner, having won the award in the 2018-19 season and the 2019-20 season. Jokić is also a two-time MVP recipient, winning the award in back-to-back seasons in 2020-21 and 2021-22. However, the 2022-23 MVP went to a first-time winner in the likes of the Cameroonian center Joel Embiid. 

Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers smiles during the 2023 Eastern Conference Playoffs
Philadelphia 76ers player Joel Embiid during the 2023 Eastern Conference Playoffs | Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Has any NBA player won two or more MVPs in a row? 

Like Jokić and Antetokounmpo, a handful of NBA hoopers have taken home MVP honors more than once. According to NBC Sports, the leading all-time MVP in the NBA is none other than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, with six total league MVP wins. His first win came during the 1970-71 season with the Milwaukee Bucks. He earned his last during the 1979-80 season with the Los Angeles Lakers. 

After Abdul-Jabbar’s six wins, Bill Russell and Michael are in a two-way tie with five MVP wins each. Of course, Russell’s MVP honors were all won as a Celtic during the late ’50s and early ’60s. In comparison, Jordan collected his league MVP wins throughout the late ’80s and ’90s with the Chicago Bulls.

Both Wilt Chamberlain and LeBron James have four league MVP wins. Chamberlain won all four MVP honors during the ’60s while playing in Philadelphia. In comparison, James won his first two MVP nods in 2009 and 2010 with the Cleveland Cavaliers. His second two MVP wins came in 2012 and 2013 with the Miami Heat. Now with the Lakers, James still has the opportunity to add another MVP win to his name.

Three NBA hoopers have three MVP wins each. These players include Moses Malone, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson. Seven NBA stars have won league MVP twice in their careers. Of course, two of them, Jokić and Antetokounmpo, have already been mentioned. However, the other five include Bob Pettit, Karl Malone, Tim Duncan, Steve Nash, and Steph Curry. 


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