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Throughout the years, many big-named NBA players have won the Sixth Man of the Year award. From Jamal Crawford to Lou Williams and Kevin McHale, the list of winners certainly doesn’t lack star power. However, there have also been many players to win the NBA MVP award. So have any of the past Sixth Man of the Year winners also won MVP?

Many stars have won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award

The presentation of the 2019 NBA Sixth Man of the Year award.
Lou Williams accepts the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award during the 2019 NBA Awards on June 24, 2019. | Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Turner Sports

The NBA first recognized the league’s best sixth man in 1982-83 when Bobby Jones from the Philadelphia 76ers won the inaugural Sixth Man of the Year award.

There have since been many big names to receive the recognition.

Those big names include Kevin McHale, Bill Walton, Manu Ginóbili, Lamar Odom, Jamal Crawford, James Harden, Lou Williams, and several others.

Crawford and Williams have won the award more than anyone, as they have both won it three times. McHale, Ricky Pierce, and Detlef Schrempf are all right behind them, though, with two wins.

James Harden and Bill Walton won NBA MVP and Sixth Man of the Year

Out of all the players to win the Sixth Man of the Year award and NBA MVP, James Harden and Bill Walton are the only players to win both.

Walton won MVP in 1977-78 with the Portland Trail Blazers when he averaged 18.9 points, 13.2 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks. This came after he helped the Blazers win an NBA championship the season before, too.

The Hall of Fame big man then won the Sixth Man of the Year in 1985-86 while playing for the Boston Celtics and averaged 7.6 points and 6.8 rebounds. The Celtics ultimately won the championship that year, and Walton averaged 7.9 points and 6.4 rebounds during the playoffs.

Harden, on the other hand, won the Sixth Man of the Year award in 2011-12 with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He averaged 16.8 points and 4.1 rebounds that year, and he ended up leading the Thunder to the NBA Finals.

The former No. 3 overall draft pick then won the MVP award in 2017-18 with the Houston Rockets by averaging a league-leading 30.4 points to go with 8.8 assists and 5.4 rebounds.

Harden and Walton are in a very small club that consists of only them. Could they soon welcome another member, though?

Derrick Rose has a chance to join them

The NBA announced its 2020-21 Sixth Man of the Year award finalists on May 20, 2021, and the three players up for the award are Jordan Clarkson, Joe Ingles, and Derrick Rose.

The latter has had a nice year for the New York Knicks and Detroit Pistons, averaging 14.7 points and 4.2 assists, which helped New York reach the postseason for the first time since 2012-13. If he wins the award, he can join Walton and Harden’s exclusive club. As you probably remember, he won the 2010-11 MVP while with the Chicago Bulls.

Rose was ultimately one of the most exciting players in basketball during that season, averaging 25.0 points per game, 7.7 assists, and 4.1 rebounds. He showed everyone just how dangerous an athletic point guard can be in the league, and he made the Bulls a great team. Chicago went 62-20 that season and reached the Eastern Conference Finals.

Rose was simply incredible.

By winning the 2021 Sixth Man of the Year award, Rose can make history by joining Harden and Walton. Whether he wins or not, though, he has proven just how stellar a player he still is, despite all the injuries he has dealt with over his successful career.

Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference


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