Good players dominate in the regular season. Great players take it up a notch and also bring their A-Game to the playoffs. Incredible players finish the job in the Finals. Legendary players do all that more than once throughout their careers.
However, even among those few legendary players we've seen, there have been just a couple of NBA stars that have been able to win back-to-back NBA MVPs, topping both of those seasons with NBA Championships, and also winning two consecutive Finals MVP awards.
As you may know by now, those two players are no other than Michael Jordan and LeBron James, which happen to be at the top of nearly all 'greatest player of all time' debates. Today, we're going to let you know everything there is to know about those seasons:
Michael Jordan - 1991, 1992
Most people consider Michael Jordan the best player in NBA history and for good reason. He won 5 MVPs, 6 NBA Championships, 6 Finals MVPs, 10 Scoring titles, 1 Defensive Player of the Year award, and dominated the league from start to finish.
One of his best seasons came during the 1990-91 campaign. Jordan averaged a league-high 31.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 2.7 steals, and 1.0 blocks per game on 53% from the floor. He played all 82 games and led the Bulls to a 61-win season, which granted him the MVP award.
Chicago swept the Knicks in the first round, beat the Sixers in the second round, swept the Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals, and then finished the job in the Finals by beating the Los Angeles Lakers 4-1. Jordan averaged 31.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 11.4 assists, 2.8 steals, and 1.4 blocks per game on 55/50/84 splits and won his first-ever Finals MVP.
His Airness was nowhere near satisfied and kept the momentum going next season. He averaged an NBA-leading 30.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 2.3 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game on 51% shooting. The Bulls won 67 games and he won back-to-back MVPs.
They took it up a notch in the playoffs by sweeping the Heat, then beating the Knicks, and Cavaliers en route to the Finals. The Bulls took down the Blazers in 6 games behind Jordan's 35.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 6.5 assists, and 1.7 steals per game on 52/42/89 shooting, thus winning the Finals MVP as well.
LeBron James - 2012, 2013
LeBron James was clearly the best player in the world entering the 2010's but he was yet to win an NBA Championship. He drew a lot of criticism for it until he decided to join the Miami Heat and finally turn his legacy around and silence his doubters.
James was coming off a heartbreaking loss in the Finals when the 2011-12 season started. He was on a mission and averaged 27.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 1.9 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game on 53% from the floor. The Heat finished with a 46-20 record and he was named regular-season MVP.
Miami kept its foot on the gas by beating the Knicks, Pacers, and Celtics in the playoffs. Then, they faced an inexperienced Oklahoma City Thunder team in the Finals. James averaged 28.6 points, 10.2 rebounds, 7.4 assists, and 1.6 steals per game on 47% shooting and won his first ring, as well as his first Finals MVP.
Once LeBron had a taste of glory, he set his mind on winning back-to-back NBA Championships. He averaged 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.7 steals, 0.9 blocks, and 1.4 three-pointers per game on 56/40/75 shooting and led the Heat to a 66-win season.
Miami swept the Bucks, beat the Bulls, and then got past the Pacers to face the San Antonio Spurs in the Finals. The heat came from behind in game 6 to force the ultimate matchup and beat them in 7 games. James averaged 25.3 points, 10.9 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 2.3 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game on 44% shooting and won his second-straight Finals MVP.