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NBA MVP: Past MVPs have had mixed postseason success

Each of the past two years, LeBron James has rode the momentum of his MVP campaign all the way to an NBA title. But that’s a rare feat.
by Anthony Slater Published: May 6, 2014

Each of the past two years, LeBron James has rode the momentum of his MVP campaign all the way to an NBA title.

It’s the culmination of a banner year — the two-step of basketball bliss, dominating both the regular and postseason. But it’s a rare feat. Before James, the last player to win the title and MVP in the same year was Tim Duncan back in 2002-03.

And over the past 25 seasons, it’s only been done nine times by a total of five players: James twice, Duncan once, Shaquille O’Neal once, Hakeem Olajuwon once and Michael Jordan four times.

Kevin Durant is fighting to join that list this season, but it won’t be easy.

Here’s a closer look at the MVPs and their postseason finishes the past 25 seasons:

2012-13 LeBron James: Won title

2011-12 LeBron James: Won title

2010-11 Derrick Rose: Lost in first round

2009-10 LeBron James: Lost in second round

2008-09 LeBron James: Lost in conference finals

2007-08 Kobe Bryant: Lost in NBA Finals

2006-07 Dirk Nowitzki: Lost in first round

2005-06 Steve Nash: Lost in conference finals

2004-05 Steve Nash: Lost in conference finals

2003-04 Kevin Garnett: Lost in conference finals

2002-03 Tim Duncan: Won title

2001-02 Tim Duncan: Lost in second round

2000-01 Allen Iverson: Lost in NBA Finals

1999-2000 Shaquille O’Neal: Won title

1998-99 Karl Malone: Lost in second round

1997-98 Michael Jordan: Won title

1996-97 Karl Malone: Lost in NBA Finals

1995-96 Michael Jordan: Won title

1994-95 David Robinson: Lost in conference finals

1993-94 Hakeem Olajuwon: Won title

1992-93 Charles Barkley: Lost in NBA Finals

1991-92 Michael Jordan: Won title

1990-91 Michael Jordan: Won title

1989-90 Magic Johnson: Lost in second round

1988-89 Magic Johnson: Lost in NBA Finals

by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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