Besides the regular stuffs that highlight the annual NBA All-Star weekend as the skills challenge, three-point shooting contest, the race for the Most Valuable Player Award will also be a main feature of the affair. Who will win this year’s plum will be known after the All-Star to be played on Sunday (Monday in Manila)
The MVP award, established and institutionalized in 1953, is given to the player and or players voted as best performer (s) in the All-Star Game. Ed Macauley and Paul Arizin were selected as the 1951 and 1952 winners, respectively.
The voting is conducted by a panel of media members, who cast their votes after the conclusion of the game. The player(s) with the most votes or ties for the most votes wins the award.
No All-Star Game MVP was named in 1999 after the All-Star game was done with due to the league’s lockout. New Orleans Pelicans’ power- forward Anthony Davis was the recent awardee in 2017.
Bob Pettit of the then St. Louis Hawks and Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers are the only two players accorded the MVP honors four times. Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, and Shaquille O’Neal have each won the award thrice.
Pettit earned the accolade in 1956, 1958, 1959 and 1962. Bryant did the trick in 2002, 2007, 2009 and 2011.
Bob Cousy, Julius Erving, Isiah Thomas, Magic Johnson, Karl Malone, Allen Iverson, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook have all won the award twice. James’ first All-Star MVP in 2006 made him the youngest to have ever won the award at the age of 21 years, 1 month.
Kyrie Irving, winner of the 2014 All-Star Game MVP, is the second-youngest at 21 years, 10 months. Both won the awards as teammates in the Cleveland Cavaliers. Four were joint winners—Elgin Baylor and Pettit in 1959, John Stockton and Malone in 1993, O’Neal and Tim Duncan in 2000, and O’Neal and Bryant in 2009.
O’Neal became the first player in All-Star history to share two MVP awards as well as the first player to win the award with multiple teams. The Los Angeles Lakers have had 11 winners while the Boston Celtics have had eight. Tim Duncan of San Antonio and of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Irving of Australia are the only winners not born in the United States.
Both Duncan and Irving are American citizens, but are considered “international” players by the NBA because they were not born in one of the fifty states or Washington, D.C No player trained entirely outside the U.S. has won the award; Irving lived in the U.S. since age two, and Duncan played U.S. college basketball at Wake Forest.
Pettit (1958, 1959) and Westbrook (2015, 2016) are the only players to win consecutive awards. Pettit (1956), Bob Cousy (1957), Wilt Chamberlain (1960), Bill Russell (1963), Oscar Robertson (1964), Willis Reed (1970), Dave Cowens (1973), Michael Jordan (1988, 1996, 1998), Magic Johnson (1990), O’Neal (2000), and Allen Iverson (2001) all won the All-Star Game MVP and the league MVP in the same season.