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NBA Champions and Finals MVPs

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Updated June 22, 2012
The NBA has come a long way since the Chicago Stags and Philadelphia Warriors played for the Basketball Association of America title back in 1947. For one thing, the game one crowd was under 8,000 people strong... and just three years later, the Stags were out of business.

The 2012 NBA Champion will be the 66th in league history. Half of those titles belong to just two franchises: the Boston Celtics have won 17 and the Lakers 16. At the opposite end of the spectrum are the Nets, Magic, Suns, Jazz, Cavaliers and Pacers - teams that have reached the Finals but never won a title - and the Bobcats, Hornets, Raptors, Grizzlies, Timberwolves, Nuggets and Clippers, who have never even reached the Finals.

Finals MVPs: The Bill Russell Award

The NBA introduced the Finals MVP award in 1969. The list of winners is very impressive - Jo Jo White of the 1976 Celtics and Cedric Maxwell of the 1981 Celtics are the only eligible Finals MVPs that aren't in the Hall of Fame... and of the more recent winners, Chauncey Billups (2004 Pistons) is the only one that doesn't seem like a mortal lock for Springfield.

Unsurprisingly, Michael Jordan has more Finals MVP awards on his mantle than anyone else. MJ was named Finals MVP six times; Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal and Tim Duncan are three-time Finals MVPs.

Magic Johnson is the only rookie to win the award. His long-time Laker teammate Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the only player to be named Finals MVP for two different teams.

Since 2009, the Finals MVP award has been named in honor of Celtics great Bill Russell. Russell's career pre-dates the award, but it seems fair to assume that he would have been honored a couple of times in the course of winning eleven NBA titles.

NBA Finals: Results and MVP Winners

Year Champion Opponent Series Result Finals MVP
2011-12 Miami Heat Oklahoma City Thunder 4-1 LeBron James, Miami
2010-11 Dallas Mavericks Miami Heat 4-2 Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas
2009-10 Los Angeles Lakers Boston Celtics 4-3 Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles
2008-09 Los Angeles Lakers Orlando Magic 4-1 Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles
2007-08 Boston Celtics Los Angeles Lakers 4-2 Paul Pierce, Boston
2006-07 San Antonio Spurs Cleveland Cavaliers 4-0 Tony Parker, San Antonio
2005-06 Miami Heat Dallas Mavericks 4-2 Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
2004-05 San Antonio Spurs Detroit Pistons 4-3 Tim Duncan, San Antonio
2003-04 Detroit Pistons Los Angeles Lakers 4-1 Chauncey Billups, Detroit Pistons
2002-03 San Antonio Spurs New Jersey Nets 4-2 Tim Duncan, San Antonio
2001-02 Los Angeles Lakers New Jersey Nets 4-0 Shaquille O'Neal, Los Angeles
2000-01 Los Angeles Lakers Philadelphia 76ers 4-1 Shaquille O'Neal, Los Angeles
1999-00 Los Angeles Lakers Indiana Pacers 4-2 Shaquille O'Neal, Los Angeles
1998-99 San Antonio Spurs New York Knicks 4-1 Tim Duncan, San Antonio
1997-98 Chicago Bulls Utah Jazz 4-2 Michael Jordan, Chicago
1996-97 Chicago Bulls Utah Jazz 4-2 Michael Jordan, Chicago
1995-96 Chicago Bulls Seattle SuperSonics 4-2 Michael Jordan, Chicago
1994-95 Houston Rockets Orlando Magic 4-0 Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston
1993-94 Houston Rockets New York Knicks 4-3 Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston
1992-93 Chicago Bulls Phoenix Suns 4-2 Michael Jordan, Chicago
1991-92 Chicago Bulls Portland Trail Blazers 4-2 Michael Jordan, Chicago
1990-91 Chicago Bulls Los Angeles Lakers 4-1 Michael Jordan, Chicago
1989-90 Detroit Pistons Portland Trail Blazers 4-1 Isiah Thomas, Detroit
1988-89 Detroit Pistons Los Angeles Lakers 4-0 Joe Dumars, Detroit
1987-88 Los Angeles Lakers Detroit Pistons 4-3 James Worthy, Los Angeles
1986-87 Los Angeles Lakers Boston Celtics 4-2 Magic Johnson, Los Angeles
1985-86 Boston Celtics Houston Rockets 4-2 Larry Bird, Boston
1984-85 Los Angeles Lakers Boston Celtics 4-2 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Los Angeles
1983-84 Boston Celtics Los Angeles Lakers 4-3 Larry Bird, Boston
1982-83 Philadelphia 76ers Los Angeles Lakers 4-0 Moses Malone, Philadelphia
1981-82 Los Angeles Lakers Philadelphia 76ers 4-2 Magic Johnson, Los Angeles
1980-81 Boston Celtics Houston Rockets 4-2 Cedric Maxwell, Boston
1979-80 Los Angeles Lakers Philadelphia 76ers 4-2 Magic Johnson, Los Angeles
1978-79 Seattle SuperSonics Washington Bullets 4-1 Dennis Johnson, Seattle
1977-78 Washington Bullets Seattle SuperSonics 4-3 Wes Unseld, Washington
1976-77 Portland Trail Blazers Philadelphia 76ers 4-2 Bill Walton, Portland
1975-76 Boston Celtics Phoenix Suns 4-2 Jo Jo White, Boston
1974-75 Golden State Warriors Washington Bullets 4-0 Rick Barry, Golden State
1973-74 Boston Celtics Milwaukee Bucks 4-3 John Havlicek, Boston
1972-73 New York Knicks Los Angeles Lakers 4-1 Willis Reed, New York
1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers New York Knicks 4-1 Wilt Chamberlain, Los Angeles
1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks Baltimore Bullets 4-0 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Milwaukee
1969-70 New York Knicks Los Angeles Lakers 4-3 Willis Reed, New York
1968-69 Boston Celtics Los Angeles Lakers 4-3 Jerry West, Los Angeles
1967-68 Boston Celtics Los Angeles Lakers 4-2
1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers San Francisco Warriors 4-2
1965-66 Boston Celtics Los Angeles Lakers 4-3
1964-65 Boston Celtics Los Angeles Lakers 4-1
1963-64 Boston Celtics San Francisco Warriors 4-1
1962-63 Boston Celtics Los Angeles Lakers 4-2
1961-62 Boston Celtics Los Angeles Lakers 4-3
1960-61 Boston Celtics St. Louis Hawks 4-1
1959-60 Boston Celtics St. Louis Hawks 4-3
1958-59 Boston Celtics Minneapolis Lakers 4-0
1957-58 St. Louis Hawks Boston Celtics 4-2
1956-57 Boston Celtics St. Louis Hawks 4-3
1955-56 Philadelphia Warriors Fort Wayne Pistons 4-1
1954-55 Syracuse Nationals Fort Wayne Pistons 4-3
1953-54 Minneapolis Lakers Syracuse Nationals 4-3
1952-53 Minneapolis Lakers New York Knicks 4-1
1951-52 Minneapolis Lakers New York Knicks 4-3
1950-51 Rochester Royals New York Knicks 4-3
1949-50 Minneapolis Lakers Syracuse Nationals 4-2
1948-49* Minneapolis Lakers Washington Capitols 4-2
1947-48* Baltimore Bullets Philadelphia Warriors 4-2
1946-47* Philadelphia Warriors Chicago Stags 4-1
* The 1947-49 teams are technically champions of the Basketball Association of America (BAA). The BAA merged with the National Basketball League (NBL) to form the National Basketball Association in 1949.
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