Winning a Most Valuable Player award is one of the toughest things any NBA player could ever achieve. It means that you were the most impactful player not on any team but in the best – or one of the best – teams in the league, which is a lot to say.
So, if winning one MVP is tough, imagine winning two. Hell, imagine how difficult it must be to win two in a row. As a matter of fact, it hasn’t been that common to see a player dominate the league from start to finish in consecutive seasons.
But if we could put together the five players who have been able to win the MVP award in back-to-back years, how would they fare in today’s NBA? Today, we’re going to honor those five players by talking about the All-Time back-to-back MVPs lineup:
PG – Steve Nash
Steve Nash’s MVPs have always been a matter of controversies. Not because he was underserving of them, as he was the floor general in one of the most electrifying offenses in NBA history – but because of the numbers other players like Shaquille O’Neal or Kobe Bryant posted.
But don’t let the narratives fool you. Nash was the best point guard in the game during that stretch and it wasn’t even close. He redefined the position with the way he dictated the pace of the offense and was the synonym of efficiency as a scorer as well.
SG – Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry was always overlooked and up to this day, he continues to be doubted. C’mon, we’re talking about the most influential player of his generation, the guy who changed the game is played nowadays, and the greatest shooter of all time. Put some respect in his name.
Curry became the first unanimous MVP in NBA history. He fired back at his critics by putting a historically great campaign when he led the league in steals and points per game. He was also the best player on the best regular-season team in NBA history.
SF – LeBron James
(2008-09, 2009-10/ 2011-12, 2012-13)
LeBron James is the only player in NBA history to win back-to-back MVPs twice. And, according to his fans, he should have at least 2 or 3 more MVPs under his belt. While I won’t be the one to disagree with that statement, I can’t think of a recent MVP who wasn’t deserving of the award as well.
James is the most durable player we’ve seen since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The guy continues to find ways to stay relevant despite being almost 36-years old and in his 17th season in the league. Judging by the way he moves, he could still play for another 4-5 years.
PF – Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the most recent addition to the back-to-back MVP club and for very good reasons. He posted an incredibly efficient season in the team with the best record in the league and this year’s voting was far from close (sorry, LeBron fans).
Giannis gets it done on both ends of the floor. He’s getting a lot of criticism lately because of his underperformances in the playoffs but hey, the guy is just 25 years old. LeBron didn’t win a ring that early, neither did Jordan. I’m not saying he’ll end up being like them but it’s still pretty early on his career.
C – Tim Duncan
It’s always been funny to me how we don’t bring Tim Duncan’s name in the GOAT conversation very often. He’s got the résumé to back up his case as one of the greatest to ever do it, as he won 5 rings with multiple Finals MVPs, MVPs and is considered one of the greatest defenders of all time.
Even though Gregg Popovich, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and David Robinson deserve a lot of credit for the Spurs’ winning culture, Tim Duncan was the building block of the dynasty. He was a class act off the court and a dominant two-way stud on it.