These would have been the MVP winners if you could only receive the award once

These would have been the MVP winners if you could only receive the award once

Awards

These would have been the MVP winners if you could only receive the award once

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There are many NBA players with multiple MVP awards, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who won six such accolades in his career, the most of any player ever. His lead there should be pretty safe, too, especially as LeBron James’ career continues to wind down. James has four in his own right.

But what if NBA players could only win the award once in their careers, as is the case with, for example, writers and the Literature Nobel prize.

We went back in time and looked up the MVP vote through the years to find out.

Check out the results below.

1955-56: Bob Pettit

Darryl Norenberg-USA TODAY Sports Network

Finished first in the MVP vote

1956-57: Bob Cousy

(AP Photo)

Finished first in the MVP vote

1957-58: Bill Russell

Bill Russell, Boston Celtics

Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Finished first in the MVP vote

1958-59: Elgin Baylor

(AP Photo/File)

Finished third in the MVP vote after Bob Pettit and Bill Russell

1959-60: Wilt Chamberlain

(AP Photo/Warren M. Winterbottom, File)

Finished first in the MVP vote

1960-61: Oscar Robertson

(AP Photo)

Finished fifth in the MVP vote after Bill Russell, Bob Pettit, Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain

1961-62: Jerry West

Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports Copyright (c) 2004 Malcolm Emmons

Finished fifth in the MVP vote after Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson and Elgin Baylor

1962-63: Red Kerr

(AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler)

Finished in the MVP vote sixth after Bill Russell, Elgin Baylor, Oscar Robertson, Bob Pettit and Jerry West

1963-64: Hal Greer or Gus Johnson

Malcolm Emmons- USA TODAY Sports

Finished sixth in the MVP vote after Oscar Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Bob Pettit and Jerry West

1964-65: Sam Jones

Darryl Norenberg-USA TODAY Sports Network

Finished fourth in the MVP vote after Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson and Jerry West

1965-66: Jerry Lucas

Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Finished fifth in the MVP vote after Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Oscar Robertson and Bill Russell

1966-67: Nate Thurmond

Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Finished in the MVP vote second after Wilt Chamberlain

1967-68: Lenny Wilkens

Darryl Norenberg-USA TODAY Sports

Finished second in the MVP vote after Wilt Chamberlain

1968-69: Wes Unseld

Malcolm Emmons- USA TODAY Sports

Finished first in the MVP vote

1969-70: Willis Reed

Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Network.

Finished first in the MVP vote

1970-71: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Network.

Finished first in the MVP vote

1971-72: John Havlicek

John Havlicek, Boston Celtics

Manny Rubio-USA TODAY Sports

Finished fourth in the MVP vote after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain

1972-73: Dave Cowens

Dave Cowens

Manny Rubio-USA TODAY Sports

Finished first in the MVP vote

1973-74: Bob McAdoo

Bob McAdoo

Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Finished second in the MVP vote after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

1974-75: Elvin Hayes

Elvin Hayes

Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Network.

Finished third in the MVP vote after Bob McAdoo and Dave Cowens

1975-76: Rick Barry

Rick Barry

Manny Rubio-USA TODAY Sports

Finished fourth in the MVP vote after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob McAdoo and Dave Cowens

1976-77: Bill Walton

Bill Walton, Portland Trail Blazers

(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

Finished second in the MVP vote after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

1977-78: George Gervin

George Gervin

Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports © Copyright Malcolm Emmons

Finished second in the MVP vote after Bill Walton

1978-79: Moses Malone

Moses Malone

(Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

Finished first in the MVP vote

1979-80: Julius Erving

Julius Erving

Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Finished second in the MVP vote after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

1980-81: Larry Bird

Larry Bird

(Photo by Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images)

Finished second in the MVP vote after Julius Erving

1981-82: Robert Parish

(AP Photo)

Finished fourth in the MVP vote after Moses Malone, Larry Bird and Julius Erving

1982-83: Magic Johnson

Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports – copyright (c) Malcolm Emmons

Finished third in the MVP vote after Moses Malone and Larry Bird

1983-84: Bernard King

(Photo by Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images)

Finished second in the MVP vote after Larry Bird

1984-85: Terry Cummings

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Finished fifth in the MVP vote after Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Moses Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

1985-86: Dominique Wilkins

Dominique Wilkins

USA TODAY Sports

Finished second in the MVP vote after Larry Bird

1986-87: Michael Jordan

(Photos by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

Finished second in the MVP vote after Magic Johnson

1987-88: Charles Barkley

(Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Finished fourth in the MVP vote after Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson

1988-89: Karl Malone

USA TODAY Sports

Finished third in the MVP vote after Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan

1989-90: Patrick Ewing

(AP Photo/Susan Ragan)

Finished fifth in the MVP vote after Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, Michael Jordan and Karl Malone

1990-91: David Robinson

(AP Photo/Olga Shalygin)

Finished third in the MVP vote after Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson

1991-92: Clyde Drexler

USA TODAY Sports

Finished second in the MVP vote after Michael Jordan

1992-93: Hakeem Olajuwon

By USA TODAY Sports (c) Copyright USA TODAY Sports

Finished second in the MVP vote after Charles Barkley

1993-94: Scottie Pippen

(AP Photo/Fred Jewell)

Finished third in the MVP vote after Hakeem Olajuwon and David Robinson

1994-95: Shaquille O'Neal

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Finished second in the MVP vote after David Robinson

1995-96: Anfernee Hardaway

RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

Finished third in the MVP vote after Michael Jordan and David Robinson

1996-97: Grant Hill

MATT CAMPBELL/AFP via Getty Images

Finished third in the MVP vote after Karl Malone and Michael Jordan

1997-98: Gary Payton

(DAN LEVINE/AFP via Getty Images)

Finished third in the MVP vote after Michael Jordan and Karl Malone

1998-99: Alonzo Mourning

(ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)

Finished second in the MVP vote after Karl Malone

1999-00: Kevin Garnett

(CRAIG LASSIG/AFP via Getty Images)

Finished second in the MVP vote after Shaquille O’Neal

2000-01: Allen Iverson

(JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images)

Finished first in the MVP vote

2001-02: Tim Duncan

(Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Finished first in the MVP vote

2002-03: Kobe Bryant

(Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)

Finished third in the MVP vote after Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett

2003-04: Jermaine O'Neal

(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Finished third in the MVP vote after Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan

2004-05: Steve Nash

(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Finished first in the MVP vote

2005-06: LeBron James

(Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Finished second in the MVP vote after Steve Nash

2006-07: Dirk Nowitzki

(Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

Finished first in the MVP vote

2007-08: Chris Paul

(Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Finished second in the MVP vote after Kobe Bryant

2008-09: Dwyane Wade

(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Finished third in the MVP vote after LeBron James and Kobe Bryant

2009-10: Kevin Durant

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Finished second in the MVP vote after LeBron James

2010-11: Derrick Rose

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Finished first in the MVP vote

2011-12: Tony Parker

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Finished fifth in the MVP vote after LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant

2012-13: Carmelo Anthony

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Finished third in the MVP vote after LeBron James and Kevin Durant

2013-14: Blake Griffin

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Finished third in the MVP vote after Kevin Durant and LeBron James

2014-15: Stephen Curry

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Finished first in the MVP vote

2015-16: Kawhi Leonard

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Finished second in the MVP vote after Stephen Curry

2016-17: Russell Westbrook

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Finished first in the MVP vote

2017-18: James Harden

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Finished first in the MVP vote

2018-19: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Finished first in the MVP vote

2019-20: Luka Doncic

(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Finished fourth in the MVP vote after Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James and James Harden

2020-21: Nikola Jokic

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Finished first in the MVP vote

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