The NBA Finals are legacy-defining moments. That's where good players become great players and great players become basketball legends. That's why so many Hall of Famers have never been able to win an NBA Championship.

If winning a ring is hard, imagine being named Finals MVP. You have to stand out from the rest of the pack, rise to the occasion after enduring a full season, play through injuries, visit hostile environments, and still deliver.

Unsurprisingly, the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award (formerly known as NBA Finals MVP Award) has gone to some of the most dominant and iconic players to ever lace them up.

Just 11 players have been able to win this award more than once since they started choosing it in 1969, with Michael Jordan leading the race with 6. The award is given out by an 11-judge panel of media members.

In this article, we're going to honor every single one of the winners of this prestigious accolade, listing all the NBA Finals MVP winners by year and also including the team they played for.

Bill Russell Finals MVP award. (Getty)

NBA Finals: All Finals MVP By Year

Year Winner Team
1969 Jerry West

Los Angeles Lakers

1970 Willis Reed New York Knicks
1971 Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) Milwaukee Bucks
1972 Wilt Chamberlain Los Angeles Lakers
1973

Willis Reed

New York Knicks

1974 John Havlicek Boston Celtics
1975 Rick Barry Golden State Warriors
1976 Jo Jo White

Boston Celtics

1977 Bill Walton Portland Trail Blazers
1978 Wes Unseld Washington Bullets
1979 Dennis Johnson Seattle Supersonics
1980 Magic Johnson

Los Angeles Lakers

1981 Cedric Maxwell Boston Celtics
1982

Magic Johnson

Los Angeles Lakers

1983 Moses Malone Philadelphia 76ers
1984 Larry Bird

Boston Celtics

1985 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Los Angeles Lakers

1986 Larry Bird

Boston Celtics

1987

Magic Johnson

Los Angeles Lakers

1988 James Worthy

Los Angeles Lakers

1989 Joe Dumars

Detroit Pistons

1990 Isiah Thomas

Detroit Pistons

1991

Michael Jordan

Chicago Bulls
1992

Michael Jordan

Chicago Bulls

1993

Michael Jordan

Chicago Bulls

1994 Hakeem Olajuwon Houston Rockets
1995

Hakeem Olajuwon

Houston Rockets

1996 Michael Jordan

Chicago Bulls

1997

Michael Jordan

Chicago Bulls

1998

Michael Jordan

Chicago Bulls

1999 Tim Duncan

San Antonio Spurs

2000

Shaquille O'Neal

Los Angeles Lakers

2001 Shaquille O'Neal

Los Angeles Lakers

2002

Shaquille O'Neal

Los Angeles Lakers

2003

Tim Duncan

San Antonio Spurs

2004 Chauncey Billups Detroit Pistons
2005

Tim Duncan

San Antonio Spurs

2006 Dwyane Wade

Miami Heat

2007 Tony Parker San Antonio Spurs
2008 Paul Pierce

Boston Celtics

2009 Kobe Bryant

Los Angeles Lakers

2010

Kobe Bryant

Los Angeles Lakers

2011 Dirk Nowitzki Dallas Mavericks
2012

LeBron James

Miami Heat
2013

LeBron James

Miami Heat

2014 Kawhi Leonard

San Antonio Spurs

2015 Andre Iguodala

Golden State Warriors

2016

LeBron James

Cleveland Cavaliers
2017 Kevin Durant

Golden State Warriors

2018 Kevin Durant Golden State Warriors
2019

Kawhi Leonard

Toronto Raptors
2020 LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers

Giannis Antetokounmpo won the 2021 Finals MVP as the Milwaukee Bucks became the NBA Champions after beating the Phoenix Suns 4-2 in the 2021 NBA Finals.