It’s a bittersweet and remarkable accomplishment to win the NBA Finals MVP award despite losing the series. Who was the last player to accomplish this feat?
Losing the NBA Finals has to be a 1 on a scale of 1-10, while winning has to be an 11.
But what if, despite everything, defeat was accompanied by widespread acclaim from the basketball world? What if you didn’t get the NBA Finals MVP despite losing?
Who was the last player from a losing team to win the NBA Finals MVP?
In 1969, Jerry West received the first NBA Finals MVP award. He is the only player in league history to win it while on the losing side. His Lakers were defeated in seven games by the Celtics, who were led by Bill Russell.
West averaged 37.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 7.4 assists per game while shooting 49 percent from the field.
He’s the logo for a reason.
Since West’s loss in the Finals, the MVP has always gone to the winning team. That’s logical. A player that propels his or her team to victory is usually the most valuable. That isn’t to say that there haven’t been losers who deserved to be named MVP.
Thanks to Stephen Curry’s outstanding performance for the Warriors versus the Celtics in 2022, it’s once again a topic of discussion. It would be fitting if Curry’s second-ever losing MVP came against the Celtics, though if you ask him, he’d much rather win the series.