Monday, May 4

LBJ and the Cavs Now Battling History?

With the announcement that LeBron won the NBA MVP Award, he and Mike Brown have become the 9th pair in NBA history to win MVP and Coach of the Year from the same team in the same season. Of the nine previous pairs, however, only three went on to win the Championship.

  • 2005 - Steve Nash and Mike D'Antoni (PHX) Lost Western Conference Finals
  • 2003 - Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich (SAS) Won Championship
  • 2001 - Allen Iverson and Larry Brown (PHI) Lost NBA Finals
  • 1996 - Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson (CHI) Won Championship
  • 1990 - Magic Johnson and Pat Riley (LAL) Lost Western Conference Semifinals
  • 1973 - Dave Cowens and Tom Heinsohn (BOS) Lost Eastern Conference Finals
  • 1969 - Wes Unseld and Gene Shue (BAL) Lost Eastern Conference Semifinals
  • 1966 - Wilt Chamberlain and Dolph Schayes (PHI) Lost Eastern Division Finals
  • 1965 - Bill Russell and Red Auerbach (BOS) Won Championship

More pairs have been knocked out four games to one (4) in a series, than have gone on to win it all. If the Cavs make the NBA Finals like most anticipate, only the heavily over-matched 76ers in 2001 lost in the final round.

The feat was also accomplished three times in the ABA, but only the Connie Hawkins-led Pittsburgh Pipers won the championship.

  • 1973 - Billy Cunningham and Larry Brown (CAR) Lost Eastern Division Finals
  • 1970 - Spencer Haywood and Joe Belmont (DNR) Lost Western Division Finals
  • 1968 - Connie Hawkins and Vince Cazzetta (PTP) Won Championship

As a believer in Larry Brown, I feel compelled to mention he's the only coach to be a part of a MVP/CoY tandem in the NBA, ABA, and the NCAA (1988, Danny Manning). He and AI still stand as the only pair in the history of the NBA to do so while not having the league's best record.

H/T to's Awards and Playoff Pages

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