DAR Sports: 10 Great NBA Players To Never Win MVP

By @TrueGodImmortal

One of the highest honors in the NBA is to win the NBA MVP award. Over the years, many have won this illustrious award and gained the accolades for the best player in the regular season. The MVP is usually someone who puts up great numbers and has a claim beyond any other for the award. Today, I wanted to look at some players who never got the dubious honor, but could have been in the running. Not included in this list is any player who played before the 80's (so Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, and more will not be listed, but they definitely apply), and that's to keep the list as modern as possible. Let's take a look.

*John Stockton 

-Though Stockton wasn't the no. 1 option for his Utah Jazz, he was the vital piece that kept the team moving and winning over their long history. Stockton was as valuable to the team as their former MVP Karl Malone, he just didn't have the numbers to show it. His impact in the game was second to none and while there weren't many years where he could have taken the award, he's certainly one of the greatest players who hasn't.

*Dwyane Wade 

-While Wade is a former shell of himself now, at one point, during his prime, he was one of the absolute best players in the NBA. During that 2008-2010 window, one could argue he was top 3, and he was in the running for MVP multiple times, it just never worked out in the end. Wade had some career years during that period in Miami, and if the team success and wins would have translated the same, I believe we could have seen him hoist up the trophy for MVP. Still, with three titles, and a Finals MVP award, Wade has something that almost all of the other players on this list don't, so his career is solidified as a top 5 SG of all time.

*Scottie Pippen 

-I've always felt Pippen was a true candidate for the MVP the season after Jordan retired. It is probably his greatest achievement after winning the 6 titles with Jordan and that 1993-1994 season will be remembered as the year Pippen showed he was THAT good. Still, as one of the better defenders in the NBA and a solid offensive guy, Pippen is clearly a top 5 Small Forward of all time, and that fact that someone this good has only been in true contention for the award once (when Jordan retired) shows the type of stranglehold that Jordan essentially had on the game during the 90's.

*Chris Paul 

-As much as I would love to put someone like Melo on this list, and he was well deserving of the honor one season (maybe two if you count his 2009 season in Denver), I think CP3 deserved to be on the list more. He's one of the best pure point guards and he excels in the regular season, but for some reason, he's never tasted MVP glory (or the Conference Finals for that matter). During his time in New Orleans, there was one season where Paul kept himself in the MVP race, but the Clippers underachieved so much that was never a serious contender for the award. Still, his stats and his impact on the game were so great, it is a slight surprise and disappointment that CP3 has never held up a trophy.

*Kevin McHale 

-There were two reasons why McHale never won the award and both of them are related to other players. He played alongside Larry Bird and on the Boston Celtics, which reduced his chances. Also, he was never seen as the no. 1 option for a team, but that didn't stop him from putting one hell of a season during 1986-1987, which is one season where he could have had a claim to the award. Averaging 26.1 PPG and 9.9 RPG on a league best 60% from the field, McHale would finish fourth in the MVP voting, but that would be the closest he would come to walking away with the award.

*Dominique Wilkins

-The man known as the Human Highlight Film had the pleasure of playing in the same era as three of the greatest to ever grace the court and any MVP award he had a claim to likely went to one of them. He had a long run where he was one of the most unstoppable scoring machines in the NBA, becoming an All Star nine times in consecutive seasons. He was never heavily in the MVP conversation (top 3 candidates) except once, when he finished second in voting behind Larry Bird, but he was always a top tier player and in any other era, I fully believe Dominique would have excelled over everyone else and took home a few trophies.

*Clyde Drexler 

-One of the greatest two guards ever, Clyde and his lack of MVP success is similar to a few other names on this list. He played in the most top heavy era in the NBA honestly. As great as he was, playing during an era where Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird are the top 3 makes it tough to claim those awards. Clyde came extremely close one season and that was 1992, when he led the Blazers to a 57 win season and the NBA Finals. He would finish second in voting to MJ, and in a natural turn of events, the Blazers would lose to the Bulls in the NBA Finals. Clyde eventually got a title with the Houston Rockets, but I'm sure that MVP award would have been just as good to have.

*Jason Kidd 

-If you ask me, Jason Kidd could have won the MVP at one point in his career, 2002 or 2003 to be exact, but his stats weren't as big as the player who won (which didn't reflect the true impact he had). He was the leader of the New Jersey Nets and their best player, and he led them to the NBA Finals twice. Kidd was the floor general for them and it was amazing to watch him display his skills at the highest level during these games and those particular seasons. Kidd did finish his career with a title, so all hope was not lost, but a MVP win would have been the icing on the proverbial cake.

*Isiah Thomas 

-Zeke is one of my personal favorite point guards ever and one of my favorite players from that era he excelled in. However, I always hated the fact that he never won the MVP or was ever seriously considered for it. The Pistons were a top contender in the East for one of the best runs in NBA history, making the playoffs and then going to three straight Finals, winning two championships. The truth of the matter is, Isiah was the engine of that team and although he was always an All Star, he never made if beyond fifth in the MVP voting, which looking back on it, maybe he deserved to finish higher every year, but with two titles and a Finals MVP, I don't think Zeke is too worried about not having that trophy despite how great it would have been.

*Patrick Ewing 

-The New York Knicks were built around Patrick Ewing. They were one of the most successful teams in the East for the duration of his career. He was the centerpiece of the organization and he was their leader. The reason why he never managed to win the MVP or make it into the top 3 for voting is mostly due to the reality of the talent he played against. Shaq, Jordan, David Robinson, Barkley, and others kept him from cracking the top 3 and of course winning the award, but Ewing was in the conversation multiple times. He finished in the top 5 for voting six times, but only got as high as fourth, which still showcases that he was a viable contender, but he could never walk away with the trophy. Ewing also never tasted championship glory, but regardless, like the others on this list, his career is just as legendary and Hall of Fame worthy without the MVP trophy.



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