Find out Who Determines the NBA MVP Each Year

In every sport, there are several awards given to players under different categories and names. With all due respect to the other awards, there are a couple of awards that motivate players to do their best every day. These are the awards that bring hope, recognition, fame, and honor to the players.

One such award is NBA MVP, which is synonymous with greatness and prints the name of the player in history for eternity.


Beginning from the 1955-56 season, every year, one player receives the NBA MVP award. Before the 1979-80 NBA season, all the NBA players voted to choose the winner. However, today a set of sportswriters and broadcasters figure out the winner.

What Do the Winners Get?

The winner of NBA MVP gets the Maurice Podoloff Trophy. Even though there are no direct monetary awards, one award opens up many doors for the players. Companies are ready to sponsor them, they get endorsements from sports houses.

Nike, Adidas, and other similar brands are ready to bring them on board. This makes them eligible to get a lifetime of earning and money easily.

Why Maurice Podoloff?

Maurice Podoloff was the first commissioner of the NBA. He was instrumental in upgrading the sport to the pedestal of professional basketball.

A lawyer by profession, Maurice was also the President of the American Hockey League at the same time when he held the reins of the Basketball Association of America in June 1946.

Understanding the New Voting Process

From the 1980-81 season, the voting method changed. We all know that instead of the players, the sportswriters and broadcasters shoulder the responsibility of selecting the MVP.

But what process do they follow, and how do they put in their votes is not known by many fans. We bring you the voting method to choose the NBA MVP.

  • Every player on the roster of selected candidates is presented to the members as a ballot paper.
  • The panel members submit their votes in consecutive numbers. For instance, if there are 5 players on the list, the members will give their preferences to who shall come first, second, third, and so on.
  • Every vote attaches a numerical value to itself. The 1st player vote gets 10 points, 2nd player vote gets 7 points, 3rd gets 5 points, 4th gets 3 points, and 5th player vote gets 1 point.
  • Since the members do not know the preferences of the other members, they cannot manipulate the results.

Once the preferences come in, then points are added for each player against the preferences.

Criteria for MVP Voting

There are three major components essential to identify the NBA MVP.

Team Success

The winning and losing of the MVP player team is the first predictor for finalizing the MVP. In the entire history of the NBA, the MVP players are from the league’s best 64% of the time.

Hence, team success is instrumental in identifying the MVP player. This also makes it easier to predict the next MVP player.

Individual Statistics

An individual player can certainly make or break the team. A player’s performance throughout the year in all the matches amalgamates to bring forth a shining career board.

The members pay close attention to the PPR, RPG, and APG scores of the player to evaluate their performances. Along with these, a few other intricate and more advanced metrics also help the panel members to give their preferences.

Media Narratives

Even though the media voice materializes outside the court, its influence on the decision-making process is strong. This becomes even more important because media persons are also a part of the decision making process.

How the media explains the player’s performances throughout the year can certainly form a member’s ultimate opinion.

The Bottom Line

After going through the discussion, we can say that the ultimate decision to choose the NBA MVP is not unanimous. But, there is an exception when Stephen Curry won the MVP award unanimously in 2015-16.

Essentially, it is safe to say that various factors come into play to decide the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award. A comprehensive method ensures that the right and deserving candidate bags the title.


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