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NBA MVPs: Celebrating second place

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Over and Back NBA Podcast

Over and Back NBA Podcast

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Who remembers who finished in second? We do! Rich and Jason looked at the runners-up in NBA MVP voting from 1956 to 2017 and what lessons we can glean from them in the latest episode of the Over and Back Classic NBA Podcast.

We look at how close multiple-time MVP awards like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, Bill Russell, and Wilt Chamberlain came to additional awards and if they might even deserve additional MVPs. We discuss players who you might not have expected to finish that high in MVP voting, including Paul Arizin, Dolph Schayes, Nate Thurmond, Lenny Wilkens, George Gervin, Bernard King, Dominique Wilkins, Clyde Drexler, Alonzo Mourning, Jason Kidd, and Dwight Howard.

We also talk about poor, cranky Jerry West's bad luck in finishing No. 2 in MVP voting four times. We look at Shaq's two MVP runners-up a decade apart and wonder what kept him from winning more, and whether Kobe Bryant really has a case for a second MVP. We discuss great seasons by Bob Pettit, Elgin Baylor, Oscar Robertson, Willis Reed, Bob McAdoo, Dave Cowens, Bill Walton, Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Karl Malone, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, Steve Nash, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kawhi Leonard.

We also dig into some alternate NBA MVP awards of the past, including the Sporting News NBA MVP, Basketball Digest Player of the Year, Sam Davis Memorial Award, and the NBPA Players Voice Award.

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