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2000 NBA Award Winners: Shaquille O'Neal Won The NBA Championship, Finals MVP, MVP Award, All-Star MVP Award And Scoring Title

2000 NBA Award Winners: Shaquille O'Neal Won The NBA Championship, Finals MVP, MVP Award, All-Star MVP Award And Scoring Title

Shaquille O’Neal left the Orlando Magic because he wanted a bigger market. The Los Angeles Lakers were one of the marquee franchises in the history of the game. That meant the expectation was to win a championship. O’Neal had fallen short of this goal, but the 1999-2000 season would be his first season in what would be a dynasty built with the Lakers. O’Neal won the league MVP and Finals MVP but came up short of winning Defensive Player of the Year to earn the triple crown.

Meanwhile, Alonzo Mourning cemented his legacy as one of the game’s best centers, while new faces in Rodney Rogers, Jalen Rose, and Elton Brand took home some hardware. Orlando Magic Doc Rivers proved he could elevate the Magic even if O’Neal wasn’t on the roster.

These are the award winners from the 1999-2000 season.

Most Valuable Player - Shaquille O’Neal

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

2nd Place: Kevin Garnett; 3rd Place: Alonzo Mourning

In 79 games, O’Neal averaged 29.7 points, 13.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 3.0 blocks. He led the league in scoring, finished second in rebounding, and was third in blocks. With O’Neal leading the way, the Lakers won 67 games, which was the most in the league, and 11 games more than the Eastern Conference leader in the Indiana Pacers.

O’Neal nearly won the award unanimously. He received 120 first-place votes. The other first-place vote went to Allen Iverson, who finished seventh in the MVP voting. O’Neal ran away with the MVP voting as he gathered 1,207 of the 1,210 total points.

Defensive Player Of The Year - Alonzo Mourning

Alonzo Mourning

2nd Place: Shaquille O’Neal; 3rd Place: Eddie Jones

Had Alonzo Mourning not been the best shot-blocker in the league, O’Neal might have won the triple crown. Instead, Mourning averaged a league-leading 3.7 blocks to lead the league, beating out both Dikembe Mutombo and O’Neal. Despite Mourning’s solid rim protection, one could make a good case that O’Neal could have won this award.

For starters, O’Neal finished second in the rebounding race, while Mourning finished 11th. O’Neal also finished second in defensive rebounds, while Mourning was 10th. Not to mention, O’Neal had a higher defensive rating where he also finished second in the league as Mourning finished seventh. Still, Mourning received 62 first-place votes in comparison to O’Neal receiving 21.

Rookie Of The Year - Elton Brand And Steve Francis (Co-Winners)

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

3rd Place: Lamar Odom

In a rare occurrence, the vote for Rookie of the Year was evenly split. Both Elton Brand and Steve Francis finished with exactly 58 first-place votes, which resulted in a tie for Rookie of the Year. Both put up stellar stat lines in their first year in the league to gain the attention of the NBA media.

For Brand, he led the rebuilding of the Chicago Bulls with 20.1 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game. Brand shot 48% from the field and finished with a slightly higher win shares mark (7.5) than Francis (6.4). As for Francis, the 22-year old led the Houston Rockets with 18.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 6.6 assists, and 1.5 steals.. Francis shot 44.5% from the field.

Sixth Man Of The Year - Rodney Rogers

Rodney Rogers

2nd Place: Cuttino Mobley; 3rd Place: Cedric Ceballos/Tracy McGrady

The Phoenix Suns won 53 games and finished with the No. 5 seed. While the starting lineup was productive, having the help of Rodney Rogers in crunch time certainly helped. Rogers averaged 13.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.1 steals. He also shot 48.6% from the field and 43.9% from the three-point range.

Rodgers ran away with this award by receiving 104 of the first-place votes. Behind him was Cuttino Mobley, who received seven votes. Mobley averaged 15.8 points and 3.6 rebounds. Meanwhile, Cedric Ceballos and Tracy McGrady tied for the award, where each received three first-place votes.

Most Improved Player Of The Year - Jalen Rose

Jalen Rose, Indiana Pacers

2nd Place: Dirk Nowitzki; 3rd Place: Jerry Stackhouse

The Indiana Pacers rose to the top of the Conference with solid contributions from Reggie Miller and Jermaine O’Neal. With that said, Jalen Rose’s improvement helped a ton as well. The 1998-1999 season saw Rose average 11.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists while shooting 40.3% from the field and 26.2% from three-point range.

Rose followed that season with 18.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and shot 47.1% from the field and 39.3% from three-point range. While Rose had a great season, this was a tight vote. Rose received 32 of the first-place votes, but Dirk Nowitzki won 25 of the first-place votes. Jerry Stackhouse finished third with 19 first-place votes and Austin Croshere, Rose’s teammate in Indiana, received 17 first-place votes.

Coach Of The Year - Doc Rivers

Doc Rivers, Tracy McGrady (Orlando Magic, 2000)

Before the season, the Magic hired Doc Rivers. The team acquired Tariq Abdul-Wahad, Chris Gatling, Ben Wallace, Pat Garrity, Corey Maggette, and signed free agents John Amaechi, Monty Williams, and Chucky Atkins. At midseason, the team traded Abdul-Wahad and Gatling for Ron Mercer, Chauncey Billups, and Ron Mercer. Billups never played for the Magic due to a shoulder injury.

Despite the massive turnover by the team, the Magic finished 41-41. The Magic finished one game short of making the playoffs. Darrell Armstrong led the team with 16.2 points, while Wallace led the team in rebounds and blocks. Atkins made the All-Rookie Second Team. Rivers was credited for Coach of the Year for his slogan “heart and hustle” which was seen as guiding this underdeveloped team to a .500 record.

NBA Champions - Los Angeles Lakers

Runner-Up: Indiana Pacers

The championship for the Lakers was a first for both Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. The Lakers also won their first championship since 1988. For the Pacers, it was a matter of getting over the hump. For years, Miller’s Pacers had been dumped in the playoffs by Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. It was the first and only time that the Hall of Famer Miller played in the NBA Finals.

The Lakers had to work hard to get here. In the first round, the Lakers defeated the No. 8 seed in a best of five series by going the full five games, winning by a margin of 3-2. In the second round, the Lakers made quick work of the Suns by winning four of the five games. The Conference Finals was a different story as the series went the full seven games before Los Angeles won Game 7. In the Finals, the Lakers took care of business by winning in six games.

Finals MVP - Shaquille O’Neal

This Finals is regarded as one of the best performances in an NBA Finals by a player. In six games, O’Neal averaged 38.0 points, 16.7 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks. In Game 1, O’Neal scored 43 points and added 19 rebounds in the win. He followed that with 40 points and 24 rebounds to help the team take a 2-0 series lead. The Pacers took the third game, but O’Neal still led the Lakers with 33 points and 13 rebounds.

The Lakers took a hard-fourth Game 4 that went to overtime. O’Neal scored 36 points and added 21 rebounds to overcome 35 points from Reggie Miller. The Pacers took Game 5 thanks to 32 points from Jalen Rose, which overcame 35 points and 11 rebounds by O’Neal. However, O’Neal helped the Lakers clinch the series in a five-point victory with 41 points and 12 rebounds. Bryant chipped in 15.6 points, Glen Rice 11.5 points, and Ron Harper 10.8 points in the series, but O’Neal was clearly the best player on the floor.

2000 NBA Season - All-Star MVP, All-NBA Teams, All-Rookie Teams, All-Defensive Teams

All-Star Game MVP: Tim Duncan and Shaquille O’Neal (Co-MVPs)

All-NBA First Team: Jason Kidd, Gary Payton, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Shaquille O’Neal

All-NBA Second Team: Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, Grant Hill, Karl Malone, Alonzo Mourning

All-NBA Third Team: Stephon Marbury, Eddie Jones, Vince Carter, Chris Webber, David Robinson

All-Rookie First Team: Andre Miller, Wally Szczerbiak, Steve Francis, Lamar Odom, Elton Brand

All-Rookie Second Team: Chucky Atkins, Jason Terry, Ron Artest, James Posey, Shawn Marion

All-Defensive First Team: Gary Payton, Kobe Bryant, Alonzo Mourning, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan

All-Defensive Second Team: Jason Kidd, Eddie Jones, Scottie Pippen, Clifford Robinson, Shaquille O’Neal


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