NBA: Ranking the last 5 Finals MVPs (from worst to best)

Is Nikola Jokic a top 5 center of all time

The NBA Finals MVP award stands as the ultimate recognition for an exceptional player who rises above the competition on the grandest stage of basketball. In the past five years, we have witnessed an extraordinary array of talent, each leaving an indelible mark on their respective championship runs. As we delve into the realm of greatness, it’s time to scrutinize and rank the last five NBA Finals MVPs, scrutinizing their performances, impact, and legacy, as we determine who truly reigned supreme and etched their names in basketball lore. From the underwhelming to the awe-inspiring, this ranking reveals the heights these remarkable athletes reached when the stakes were at their highest.

5. Kawhi Leonard (2019)

Golden State Warriors fans would argue that the Toronto Raptors would have not won the 2019 championship if only Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson had not been injured. Well, we really can’t say for sure. There are a lot of ifs, should haves, would haves, and could haves, but the result is what we’re only going to look at.

That Toronto Raptors team was led by the five-time All-Star Kawhi Leonard. Although, that team was pretty deep considering they have future All-Stars Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet. Plus, Kawhi also has great veterans like the former Defensive Player of the Year, Marc Gasol, and the former All-Star Kyle Lowry. Interestingly, Kawhi Leonard isn’t always the best Raptor on the court, but his leadership was unquestionable and his production has brought Toronto their first-ever chip.

2019 NBA Finals stats: 28.5 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 4.2 APG (4-2 against the Golden State Warriors)

4. LeBron James (2020)

Love him or hate him, you can’t deny how amazing LeBron James was during the Bubble Finals in 2020. The then 35-year-old superstar played like he was only 18 years old. 10 years ago, LeBron has been doing these kinds of things. And then, fast forward to today, and he is still putting up the same performance.

In the 2020 NBA Finals, when the Los Angeles Lakers faced the Miami Heat, it was obvious that the Lakers somewhat were the more favored team. Although 2020 was a year to forget for some due to the pandemic, it was a year LeBron would definitely remember after winning his 4th championship. At the time, it was clear to see that LBJ is still the best in the league, regardless of how he is.

2020 NBA Finals stats: 29.8 PPG, 11.8 RPG, 8.2 APG (4-2 against the Miami Heat)

3. Nikola Jokic (2023)

The Serbian superstar, Nikola Jokic, has done great things in his career in the NBA. What put him in the pantheon as one of the best centers in history is by winning his first-ever championship, which also happens to be the first for the Denver Nuggets franchise.

Despite being arguably the best player in the league today, it seems that the Nuggets had a pretty easy road to the championship. In the first round, they faced an 8th-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves. Then, in the semi-finals, the Nuggets faced Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and the Phoenix Suns who had no bench. The Conference Finals came, and they easily swept the 7th-seeded Los Angeles Lakers. Meanwhile, in the NBA Finals, although this team overachieved, the Miami Heat were only the 8th seed in the East. Is it really an easy path or does Nikola Jokic look it easy for him to dominate? Either way, Jokic deserves the regular season MVP more than Joel Embiid this year, for sure!

2023 NBA Finals stats: 30.2 PPG, 14.0 RPG, 7.2 APG (4-1 against the Miami Heat)

2. Steph Curry (2022)

During the 2021-2022 season, the Boston Celtics statistically were the best defensive team in the league. Their offense? Well, they just happen to have the duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. But, the second-seeded Celtics would meet the complete, healthy, and battle-tested Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.

This was when Steph Curry was playing like his MVP years. In that season, Curry won the three-point contest, All-Star MVP, Western Conference Finals MVP, NBA championship, and NBA Finals MVP as well as being third in MVP voting. As he tried to capture his fourth ring, The Dubs gave the Celtics a tough matchup. The best defense in the league had no answer for the blazing-hot Curry as he pushes the Warriors to win the championship. Overall, it was probably the best season Steph had aside from his 2016 MVP year.

2022 NBA Finals stats: 31.2 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 5.0 APG (4-2 against the Boston Celtics)

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (2021)

Coming off an injury and being down 0-2 in the Finals against the Phoenix Suns, Giannis Antetokounmpo rallied the Milwaukee Bucks to four straight games and upset the Suns, 4-2. Even after suffering a hyperextended knee in the Eastern Conference Finals, The Greek Freak managed to put up huge numbers. Giannis even had two 40-point games and a 50-point outing in game 6 to put the cherry on top of the cake.

Not only was he a beast on offense, he was a freak on the defensive end. Looking back, we could still feel the goosebumps when he blocked the alley-oop attempt by DeAndre Ayton. Truthfully, it was a year to remember for Giannis as he wins his first ring at only 25 years old.

2021 NBA Finals stats: 35.2 PPG, 13.2 RPG, 7.2 APG (4-2 against the Phoenix Suns)

Do you agree with our take? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. For more content, stay with us here at Spiel Times. Make sure you subscribe to our push notifications and never miss an update. You can also follow us on Spiel AnimeTwitterInstagram, and YouTube. Until next time!

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