We’ve watched nice MVP races all through the course of NBA historical past. Nash vs. Shaq, Giannis vs. Harden, LeBron vs. Rose, Fowl vs. Magic, you identify it. That’s what comes when you could have probably the most aggressive match in skilled sports activities.
Nevertheless, not even one of the best MVP races you may consider can examine to what occurred in 1961-62. Again then, the league had Eight legit candidates that might make a powerful case for being the league’s Most Priceless Participant, regardless that – clearly – only one may take the award dwelling.
As much as this present day, that season’s award remains to be a topic of controversies amongst basketball pundits. That’s why at present, we’re going to allow you to all the pieces there’s to know concerning the biggest MVP race of all time, so that you’ll be the decide as to which participant ought to have gained it:
8. Bob Cousy
15.7 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 7.Eight APG, 28.2 MPG, 39% FG
Bob Cousy was basketball’s first level guard. He was the last word chief for the Boston Celtics and the veteran presence within the locker room in the course of the 1961-62 marketing campaign. Regardless of being already 33 years previous, he averaged slightly below 30 minutes per sport that season.
Coached by Pink Auerbach and with Cousy pulling the strings of the offense, the Celtics had a 60-20 file that season. Cousy was a 11-year veteran and he had already led the Celtics to a few NBA Championships. That yr, they gained their fourth in franchise historical past.
7. Richie Guerin
29.5 PPG, 6.Four RPG, 6.9 APG, 42.9 MPG, 44% FG
It’s been some time for the reason that New York Knicks had a participant among the many league’s chief within the MVP race however again within the day, there have been few scorers within the league that might outplay Richie Guerin, an athletic and offensive juggernaut at each guards spots.
Even so, the Knicks’ main struggles damage Guerin’s possibilities to take the award dwelling. They ended up the season with a 29-51 file and had one of many worst offenses within the league. They had been one of many three groups that didn’t even make the playoffs that yr.
6. Bob Pettit
31.1 PPG, 18.7 RPG, 3.7 APG, 42.1 MPG, 45% FG
Bob Pettit was simply unstoppable in his prime. He put up insane numbers on a nightly foundation and there weren’t too many large males on earth that might maintain his personal vs him and his lengthy arms again within the day, particularly in the course of the 1961-62 season.
Sadly, identical to in Richie Guerin’s case, the St. Louis Hawks had been a little bit of a misplaced trigger that season, which damage his possibilities to be the league’s MVP regardless of his unimaginable averages. They gained simply 21 video games and didn’t make the playoffs both.
5. Jerry West
30.Eight PPG, 7.9 RPG, 5.Four APG, 41.2 MPG, 44% FG
(through Sports activities Illustrated)
We already know what Jerry West was able to again then. However even amongst his nice seasons, the 1961-62 marketing campaign stands out from most of them due to the truth that he was simply coming into his sophomore yr and was already an MVP candidate.
West was one of the vital dominant two-way gamers to ever set foot on a basketball hardwood again then. His contributions helped the Lakers win 54 video games that yr and make the NBA Finals however they misplaced to Invoice Russell and the Celtics in 7 video games.
4. Elgin Baylor
38.Three PPG, 18.6 RPG, 4.6 APG, 44.Four MPG, 42% FG
Similar to Jerry West, Elgin Baylor took the league by storm proper out of the gate. He was thought-about one of the best small ahead on earth and for good purpose, as he was averaging practically 40 factors per sport with 18.6 rebounds an evening, which is one thing no different on his place may do these days.
Baylor was a fearless scorer that was all the time going to get what he wished within the paint. He led the Lakers in scoring en path to that 54-season and the NBA Finals berth however as you could know by now, it was the Celtics those to have a good time on the finish of the yr.
3. Oscar Robertson
30.Eight PPG, 12.5 RPG, 11.Four APG, 44.Three MPG, 47% FG
Triple-doubles aren’t that spectacular anymore these days however again in 1961-62 Oscar Robertson did one thing no different participant had ever come near: he averaged a triple-double all through a whole marketing campaign. Extra impressively, he was some extent guard.
Robertson may do all of it on each ends of the ground. He was a powerful leaper with nice athletic traits that allowed him to dominate the glass. Nevertheless, his spectacular milestone was overshadowed by the 47-win season of the Cincinnati Royals, in order that damage him within the MVP voting.
2. Wilt Chamberlain
50.Four PPG, 25.7 RPG, 2.Four APG, 48.5 MPG, 50% FG
As much as this present day, I nonetheless can’t perceive how Wilt Chamberlain didn’t win the MVP award for that season. He set the file for the best scoring common (50.Four ppg), probably the most factors ever in a season (4,029) and got here fairly near breaking his personal file of most rebounds per sport as properly.
Extremely, he did so by averaging a whopping 48.5 minutes per sport (no load administration there, huh). Nonetheless, even when one of the best gamers of at present performed all Four quarters they couldn’t come near his season averages. The Philadelphia Warriors gained 49 video games however he nonetheless didn’t take the award dwelling.
1. Invoice Russell
18.9 PPG, 23.6 RPG, 4.5 APG, 45.2 MPG, 45% FG
Regardless that Bob Cousy was the Celtics’ chief, it was Invoice Russell the one who actually made a distinction. He anchored their protection to a 60-win season and one other NBA Championship and continued to determine himself as the best defender on earth.
Russell didn’t put up probably the most spectacular averages among the many gamers on this checklist, not by a protracted stretch. Nonetheless, the league thought that him being one of the best participant on one of the best workforce within the league was sufficient to win the MVP award. That looks as if truthful standards however it’s nonetheless loopy to try all of the gamers he beat in that race.
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