Most Valuable Player can be interpreted a few ways. Some feel the MVP should be awarded to the league’s best player (LeBron James). Others feel it should be awarded to the best player on the best team for that season should they have a player of that caliber (Stephen Curry). And then others prefer to award it to the best player on a playoff team in which he had to carry the most due to certain circumstances (James Harden).
Regardless of your interpretation, the player that wins the award is usually one of the game’s best and that was the case this year with Stephen Curry. But what isn’t always the case is the league MVP reaching the NBA Finals, and what’s even more rare is them squaring off against a former MVP in the matchup.
This season we have both. So as a result, I’ve decided to go back the last quarter-century and see how many times we’ve had the pleasure of seeing an NBA Finals match where the current MVP met a former MVP.
The Atlanta Hawks surprised everyone when they cruised to the number-one seed in the eastern conference with a 60-win season, but even though they just had the best season in franchise history, my gut tells me this is as good as it gets for this group.
Marc Gasol and Mike Conley in New York Knick uniforms alongside Carmelo Anthony next season is the absolute best-case scenario. And while I know this may very well be a pipe dream, the possibility does exist.
Five straight playoff appearances, 50-plus wins in three consecutive seasons and a Western Conference Final run mixed in. The recent run in Memphis has been excellent, but if Marc Gasol goes elsewhere it’s going to get ugly fast.