Winning the Most Valuable Player award may be considered the ultimate honor by most NBA players but truth to be told, there’s no sweetest joy than leading your team to an NBA Champion and winning the Finals MVP.
Notably, a handful of players have been able to win both throughout their entire career, but for most of them, it’s either one of the other.
Obviously, you could put together a team consisting of just MVPs or Final MVPs and you’d have a Championship contender in the blink of an eye, but which team would actually fare better? Which team could win if they faced each other? Let’s break it down:
Point Guard – Stephen Curry (2016 MVP)
Stephen Curry is the greatest shooter of all time. However, he’s not just a shooter. He’s also one of the smartest players out there, and that’s why his basketball IQ and court vision are superb.
He’s a top-notch playmaker with some of the best handles ever. He’s an elite finisher below the rim despite his lack of athleticism and explosiveness and has the green light to pull up from everywhere on the court. But most surprisingly, he’s just incredibly efficient for a guy that takes that many three-pointers per game.
Shooting Guard – Russell Westbrook (2017 MVP)
Russell Westbrook always has a chip on his shoulder and that’s what makes him so entertaining to watch. He’s always determined to outplay his rivals and would do whatever it takes to lead his team to a victory.
Westbrook is one of the most athletic players the league has ever seen. He’s far stronger than most guards, and arguably the fastest player in the league. He can do a little bit of everything and is a way better defender most people credit him for. He’s a dog.
Small Forward – James Harden (2018 MVP)
James Harden has quickly become the most unstoppable offensive force of the decade in the NBA. Even if you’re not a fan of his style, you can’t argue that there’s no actual way to stop him from scoring.
Harden is putting up 35 points per game night after night as if he was playing on his local YMCA. He’s embarrassing the greatest defenders in the world on a nightly basis with his crafty moves and ability to draw contact. It may look easy, but he’s one of the savviest to ever do it.
Power Forward – Kevin Durant (2014 MVP)
Kevin Durant is the most versatile player in the world. He can literally do it all at a high level and there’s no single flaw in his game. He can drive, pull up, create for others and play all five spots on the court.
Durant is also always in charge of checking some of the best scorers in the world like LeBron James or James Harden but he doesn’t get enough credit for his defense. He can guard one through five thanks to his length and great instincts.
Center – Giannis Antetokounmpo (2019 MVP)
Giannis Antetokounmpo has all the physical tools to be one of the greatest players to ever set foot on an NBA hardwood. But, honestly, he wasn’t that talented at all. He’s worked relentlessly for everything he’s become.
Giannis is determined to be the best player in the world and he won’t stop grinding until he reaches his goal. He keeps improving all aspects of his game and once he starts knocking down three-pointers there won’t be a way to stop him.
Team Finals MVP
Point Guard – LeBron James (2016 FMVP)
LeBron James is playing as a point guard for the first time on his career this season. The result? he’s leading the league in assists per game with 10.6, which shouldn’t come as a surprise given his outstanding basketball IQ.
James is one of the best playmakers to ever do it. He’s got eyes on the back of his head and is a master at reading opposing defenses. He always knows where his teammates are supposed to be and he makes them better by getting them involved in the offense.
Shooting Guard – Kobe Bryant (2010 FMVP)
You could beat Kobe once or twice, but you’d never get the last laugh. You could never outwork him, you could never out-think him. That’s why he’ll always be remembered as the toughest competitor in the history of the game.
Kobe was incredibly gifted in both ends of the court and he could literally score on anybody, but it was his reckless mindset that made him one of the greatest to ever do it, and why he’ll always be someone young players and superstars will look up to.
Small Forward – Andre Iguodala (2015 FMVP)
Back in 2015, the Golden State Warriors had Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green on the court, but it was Andre Iguodala the one who made the biggest impact for them to win the Championship.
Iguodala stepped up in the offensive end, but his top-notch defense was the main reason why he was named Finals MVP back in 2015. And while he may not be as fast as he was back in the day, he’s still one of the prime wing stoppers in the league.
Power Forward – Kawhi Leonard (2019 FMVP)
Kawhi Leonard made it to the league as a guy with the potential to become a solid 3-and-D kind of player. Nobody ever thought he’d end up becoming the best two-way player in the league six years into his career.
Now, he’s a two-time NBA Champion and two-time Finals MVP thanks to his suffocating defense and explosive offense. He’s become a deadly scorer from all three levels and a guy that completely controls the pace and flow of the game. You just don’t want to face this guy.
Center – Dirk Nowitzki (2011 FMVP)
Dirk Nowitzki is arguably the greatest foreign player in the history of the NBA. He’s a guy that completely changed the way the power forward position was played and set the ground for modern big men in the league.
He may not be the most athletic or fast guy on the court, but he sure knew how to make an impact by making the most of his size and developing one of the most unstoppable moves of all time. He’s going to have a statue outside of the American Airlines Center for good reason.
Well, obviously, this one would be a matchup for the ages. We’re talking about 10 of the top 15 players in the league right now, and 10 guys that could destroy most players one-on-one.
When it comes to shooting and creating their offense, Team MVP has the clear upper hand. I mean, they feature Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Stephen Curry on the same team, while Russell Westbrook could work as their primary ball-handler.
Also, having Giannis Antetokounmpo as their small-ball center would give them a huge chance to run and spread the floor.
Team Finals MVP, however, is far more balanced. It not only has better defenders but also players that could mash up together even better than team MVP.
We all know what LeBron James is capable of when running the point, and he’ll get their shooters a lot of wide-open shots with his drives to the lane.
Team MVP has better shooters, but everybody on Team Finals MVP can also knock down shots from deep. They could match LeBron or Kawhi against Giannis in the paint and let Dirk play beyond the arc as another shooter.
Also, Team Finals MVP has a huge edge when it comes to defense. Kobe Bryant, Andre Iguodala, and Kawhi Leonard are all lockdown defenders in the perimeter, while LeBron’s strength in the post is also far known.
Intangibles also turn the table in favor of Team Finals MVP, as they feature players that usually come huge in the clutch and the playoffs, as opposed to others like Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden, and Russell Westbrook.
All things considered, we tend to think Team Finals MVP would take this one home by 5 points, but Team MVP would definitely make a run for their money.
Final Score: Team MVP vs. Team Finals MVP 110-115