Can You Identify These NBA Stars Who Never Won MVP?

By: Gavin Thagard

Can You Identify These NBA Stars Who Never Won MVP?
Image: Wiki Commons by Keith Allison

About This Quiz

What does it take to cement a player's legacy in the NBA? Most stars will argue that it's all about championships, and the players who rack up the most titles get to lay claim to being the greatest of all time. If that were true, why is Bill Russell rarely mentioned when discussing the G.O.A.T.? He did finish his career with 11 titles, after all. 

Clearly, there is more to a player's legacy than titles. One other great indicator is the MVP award, given out each season to the best player in the game. Though they claim it's not about individual accolades, players like LeBron James wouldn't complain when they get snubbed by the likes of Derrick Rose for the award if it wasn't important. Don't worry LeBron, you still have four MVPs. 

What about the NBA stars who never won an MVP award, though? Do you know who these players are and what they accomplished on the court? Are you familiar with why they lost the award in the first place and who beat them? Can you even identify these stars from an image? Here's a quiz where you can find out.

If you're ready to test your NBA star knowledge, find out if you can get an MVP level score on this quiz. 

Elgin Baylor Can you identify this NBA legend who left the league without an MVP or a championship?
Dwyane Wade
Elgin Baylor
Elgin Baylor might be the greatest player to retire without an NBA championship or an MVP award despite appearing in eight NBA Finals. The most tragic part about his career is that the Lakers won the title the same year that he retired.
Chris Bosh
Gary Payton

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Jerry West This NBA star is so iconic he was used as the NBA logo despite not having an MVP. Who is he?
Jerry West
With more accolades than you can count, Jerry West carved out a place for himself in the annals of basketball history. However, the former NBA champion has been just as instrumental off the court, helping several franchises become playoff contenders as an executive.
Carmelo Anthony
John Stockton
John Havlicek

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Isiah Thomas Once the floor general for the "Bad Boy" Pistons who led them to two NBA titles, who is this player who failed to win an MVP award?
Alonzo Mourning
Clyde Drexler
Jason Kidd
Isiah Thomas
As a team leader and possessing a high basketball IQ, Isiah Thomas was an example of a perfect point guard. Not only could he orchestrate an offense, but he also gave a lot of effort on defense, turning the Pistons into a formidable force to take on the Celtics and Lakers in the '80s.

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John Stockton If you're looking for an assists machine, this was your guy, but he couldn't pass his way to an MVP. Can you name him?
Paul Arizin
Robert Parish
John Stockton
John Stockton's chances at an MVP were often thwarted by the success of his teammate Karl Malone. Together, they made a dynamic pick and roll duo, but Malone was the one who would take home MVP honors twice.
Chris Paul

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Kevin McHale Do you recognize this former star whose mastery in the offensive post never helped him win an MVP?
Rick Barry
Artis Gilmore
Kevin McHale
Kevin McHale had an offensive post game that became known as the "Torture Chamber" because of the variety of moves he could use on his opponents. However, his calling card was his defense, as he was named to the All Defensive First Team three times.
Dwight Howard

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Scottie Pippen It's hard to earn an MVP when you play next to Michael Jordan like this player. What's his name?
Patrick Ewing
Scottie Pippen
Scottie Pippen once stated that there isn't a game he would play where he wouldn't chose Michael Jordan. Hopefully, Jordan feels the same way because he never won an NBA championship without Pippen on his team.
Walt Frazier
Nate Thurmond

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Dwyane Wade Having not won an MVP award, who is this NBA superstar that decided to call it quits in 2019?
Dominique Wilkins
Alex English
James Worthy
Dwyane Wade
In 2006, Dwyane Wade put together one of the greatest playoff runs the NBA world has ever seen. Even with Shaquille O'Neal on the team, Wade was clearly the leader, averaging 28 points per game and eventually earning the Finals MVP after defeating the Dallas Mavericks in six games.

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Clyde Drexler Are you familiar with this player who didn't win an MVP despite finishing in the top ten in voting five times?
Clyde Drexler
After spending most of his career in Portland, Clyde Drexler took a chance in 1994 and went to play with his old college teammate, Hakeem Olajuwon, in Houston. Together, they won the 1995 NBA championship, giving Drexler the only title of his career.
Ray Allen
Tracy McGrady
Paul Pierce

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Paul Pierce When Boston needed an MVP, this guy stepped up, but he never actually got the award. Who is he?
Chauncey Billups
Reggie Miller
Paul Pierce
The fans who pile into TD Garden each year will forever be grateful to Paul Pierce for delivering them their only championship since Larry Bird in the '80s. To honor Pierce for his contributions, the team even hung his No. 34 in the rafters.
Chris Mullin

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Patrick Ewing Do you know this powerful center who led the Knicks through the '90s without being awarded an MVP?
Walt Frazier
George Gervin
Dolph Schayes
Patrick Ewing
In an era where big men dominated the NBA, Patrick Ewing was right there in the middle of them, averaging 21 points and nearly 10 rebounds throughout his career. Too bad he played in a decade featuring Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon or his accomplishments might've been greater.

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John Havlicek This MVP-less star was in charge of running the Celtics after Bill Russell and Bob Cousy retired. Can you identify him?
John Havlicek
People often want to dismiss players like John Havlicek when they discuss the greatest champions of all time. That's a bit of a crime considering Havlicek was undefeated in the Finals with eight championships on his resume.
Paul Arizin
Gary Payton
Chris Webber

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Rick Barry What's the name of this retired small forward who won both a Finals MVP and All Star Game MVP but never a regular season MVP?
Chris Paul
Rick Barry
Throughout his career, Rick Barry was one of the most consistent free throw shooters in the game. He used an uncommon shooting style, though, preferring to shoot the ball underhanded.
Dwight Howard
Grant Hill

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Jason Kidd Did you watch this superstar rack up enough triple doubles to remember who he is?
Bob Lanier
Gary Payton
Steve Nash
Jason Kidd
Jason Kidd twice competed in the Olympic Games for the United States in 2000 and 2008. Both years, the United States won gold, and Kidd proved he could be a valuable orchestrator on offense at the international level.

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Dominique Wilkins High-flying dunks put this offensive machine in the MVP race, but the award never fell his way. Do you remember watching him slam it down?
Dominique Wilkins
From the MVP race to scoring titles, Dominique Wilkins was always behind Michael Jordan when it came to accomplishments. One of the most intense competitions between the two was the 1988 Slam Dunk Contest, where Jordan received favorable scores in front of his home crowd in Chicago.
Adrian Dantley
Shawn Kemp
Bernard King

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Walt Frazier Can you recall the name of this former New York Knicks star?
Pete Maravich
Walt Frazier
Walt Frazier's biggest obstacle when it came to the MVP was that he played at the same time as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Kareem won five MVPs throughout the '70s and one more in 1980, forcing players like Frazier to settle for All Star appearances during their best years.
Reggie Miller
Ray Allen

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Gary Payton Which player known for his defensive prowess is shown here?
James Worthy
Mark Jackson
Gary Payton
Gary Payton spent most of his time in the NBA with the Seattle SuperSonics, where he made quite a few lengthy playoff runs. His best run with the SuperSonics was in 1996 when they reached the NBA Finals but lost to the Chicago Bulls.
Dwight Howard

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Nate Thurmond Are you able to name this retired superstar who came as close as second place in the MVP race?
Tracy McGrady
Nate Thurmond
In his first game with the Chicago Bulls, Nate Thurmond racked up a ridiculous stat line of 22 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists and 12 blocked shots. His insane, stat filled game made him the first player in NBA history to record a quadruple double.
Carmelo Anthony
Chauncey Billups

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Elvin Hayes An NBA scoring champion and rebounding leader, who is this 12-time All Star who missed out on an MVP opportunity?
Elvin Hayes
Elvin Hayes was one of the most durable players the game has ever seen. Over the course of his 16-year career, Hayes never missed more than one game in a regular season and played in every game eight of those years.
Gary Payton
Dolph Schayes
Bob Lanier

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George Gervin This legend was known for his calm demeanor during games but not for his MVP awards. Can you name him?
Ray Allen
Grant Hill
Chris Webber
George Gervin
George Gervin was so calm and collected on the court that he earned the nickname "The Iceman." The ice that poured through his veins was one of the reasons he earned four scoring titles, averaging 33 points per game during his best season.

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Robert Parish He helped both the Celtics and Bulls win championships while watching other stars on his team win MVPs, leaving him out of the race. Do you know him?
Reggie Miller
Rajon Rondo
Robert Parish
If you want to talk about long careers, no one played longer in the NBA than Robert Parish, who finished his career with 1,611 regular season games under his belt. Luckily, this 21-year veteran was able to go out on top when he won an NBA title with the Bulls in 1997, the same season he retired.
Artis Gilmore

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James Worthy Known for showing up in big games, are you familiar with this player who didn't put up enough numbers during the regular season?
James Worthy
James Worthy was an integral part of the "Showtime" Lakers, who brought a fast break style of basketball to the NBA in the 1980s. Accompanied by live bands and dance teams, this iteration of the Lakers was a perfect fit for the Hollywood setting.
Sidney Moncrief
Dave Bing
Shawn Kemp

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Chris Paul Can you identify this player whose MVP skills have diminished though he's still trying to win a championship?
Tim Hardaway
Mark Jackson
Grant Hill
Chris Paul
Despite being only 6 feet tall, Chris Paul fears no one when he steps onto the court with the goal of winning. Paul has such a desire to win, in fact, that it created a rift between him and his Clippers' teammates, which was a major reason he left to join the Rockets in 2017.

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Bob Lanier You had a walking double-double with this MVP candidate throughout the '70s. What's his name?
Bernard King
Chris Webber
Bob Lanier
Playing in a total of eight NBA All Star Games, Bob Lanier's greatest performance came in 1974. Lanier was named the MVP of the game after putting up 24 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks.
Artis Gilmore

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Dwight Howard Who is this former number one overall draft pick whose stats lived up to the hype though his accomplishments never did?
Alonzo Mourning
Dwight Howard
Fed up with his time in Orlando, Dwight Howard requested to be traded from the team in 2012. Howard got his wish and was sent to the Los Angeles Lakers, but he ended up getting more than he asked for, as he faced constant criticism from Lakers' teammate Kobe Bryant who called him out for being soft.
Tracy McGrady
Jerry Lucas

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Chris Webber His college career ended in controversy, but his time in the NBA was full of highlights other than an MVP award. Do you recognize this player?
Mitch Richmond
Carmelo Anthony
Ray Allen
Chris Webber
While playing at the University of Michigan, Chris Webber was part of a revolutionary recruiting class known as the "Fab Five." Not only did they introduce baggier clothing to the game, but they also had an attitude about them that hadn't been seen before on the college level.

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Grant Hill Did you ever watch this star play basketball before injuries took his prime as well as an MVP opportunity from him?
Dave Bing
Tim Hardaway
Grant Hill
Grant Hill's first season in the NBA proved why this gifted small forward was highly sought coming out of college. He started 69 games that year and averaged nearly 20 points per game on his way to being named both an NBA All Star and Co-Rookie of the Year.
Pau Gasol

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Mark Price Though this legend didn't win an MVP, he did have his number retired by the Cavaliers. Is he a player you're familiar with?
Kevin Love
Mark Price
Before there was LeBron James, Cleveland had Mark Price, who played there from 1986 until 1995. Price was named to four All Star Games during that span and won two three-point shooting contests, which gave the Cleveland crowd something to root for other than a championship.
Adrian Dantley
Chris Mullen

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Sidney Moncrief A monster on the defensive side of the ball, what's the name of this floor general who couldn't put up enough offensive stats to win the MVP award?
Sidney Moncrief
Sidney Moncrief led a Milwaukee Bucks team throughout the '80s that sat behind only the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics in terms of winning percentage. He failed to clinch a title, though, and retired after one season with the Atlanta Hawks.
Tracy McGrady
Alonzo Mourning
Reggie Miller

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Dave Bing You would think that carrying a team to its first 50-win season would help you earn MVP honors, but that wasn't the case for this player. Who is he?
Adrian Dantley
Artis Gilmore
Dave Bing
Dave Bing was taken with the second pick in the 1966 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons. He fell behind Cazzie Russell in the draft, who the New York Knicks decided to take with the first pick. Of the two, Bing was the only one to make the Hall of Fame.
Alonzo Mourning

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Shawn Kemp Do you know this freak athlete who was extremely dangerous under the rim?
Tim Hardaway
Shawn Kemp
Shawn Kemp might have spent most of his NBA career in Seattle, but his most productive scoring years came in Cleveland. In his first two seasons with the Cavs, Kemp averaged over 20 points per game for the only time in his career.
Bernard King
Pete Maravich

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Tim Hardaway Is this speed-driven point guard a player you are familiar with despite the fact that he didn't win an MVP?
Tim Hardaway
Tim Hardaway was a sneaky defender who could rack up steals if the other team wasn't careful. Two example of this was in the 1991 and 1992 playoffs when he stole the ball eight times in each game, tying an NBA Playoff record that was later broken by Allen Iverson.
Ray Allen
Amare Stoudemire
Chauncey Billups

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Chris Mullin This player was known for his high scoring percentage and buzzcut, but he was never known for winning MVPs. Can you identify him?
Mitch Richmond
Pete Maravich
Steve Kerr
Chris Mullin
Chris Mullin was part of the 1992 "Dream Team" that won gold in Barcelona after going undefeated in the tournament. Recognized as the greatest basketball team ever assembled, they were inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as a single unit.

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Reggie Miller Are you familiar with this former star who left the NBA and went into broadcasting without an MVP or championship?
Mark Jackson
Reggie Miller
If there was ever a fan base that truly hated another player, it was the New York Knicks and their hatred of Reggie Miller. They had good reason to, of course, as Miller was the ultimate trash talker and even eliminated the Knicks in the 2000 Eastern Conference Finals, which was the last time the Knicks made it that far in the playoffs.
Rajon Rondo
Carmelo Anthony

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Ray Allen Did you watch this three-point specialist play enough to name him?
Ray Allen
After five seasons in Boston and an NBA title, Ray Allen left the Celtics to join their enemy at the time, the Miami Heat. Celtics' teammates like Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo disowned Allen after that, and their relationship has yet to recover.
Bernard King
Adrian Dantley
Jerry Lucas

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Pete Maravich A player so skilled that three NBA teams retired his number, do you recognize this NBA legend who never got to hold up an MVP award?
Alex English
Artis Gilmore
Alonzo Mourning
Pete Maravich
Approaching the age of 30, Pete Maravich's career slowed significantly due to injuries that took their toll on the shooting guard. During the 1977-78 season, he only played in 50 games but still put up 27 points per game. However, he wouldn't play more than 50 games for the rest of his career.

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Amar'e Stoudemire Can you recall the name of this freak athlete who might not have earned an MVP but could run the pick and roll as if he invented it?
Carmelo Anthony
Rajon Rondo
Amare Stoudemire
Amare Stoudemire played alongside Steve Nash in one of the most dynamic offenses to ever take the court. Coached by Mike D'Antoni, this offense pushed the pace of play as they tried to get a shot off in seven seconds or less.
Tracy McGrady

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Chauncey Billups This team leader could make big shots when they counted, but that wasn't enough to get an MVP. What's his name?
Mark Jackson
Pau Gasol
Kevin Love
Chauncey Billups
Chauncey Billups might not have a regular season MVP, but his performance in 2004 NBA Finals was what made this man a legend. Facing a loaded Lakers' team, Billups and the Pistons never let Los Angeles score over 100 points in a game and finished the series off in Game 5.

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Tracy McGrady Are you familiar with this offensive juggernaut who missed out on several MVP chances?
Carmelo Anthony
Tracy McGrady
Tracy McGrady competed against two of the greatest scorers in the game, Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson, for the NBA scoring title during the 2000s. McGrady and Bryant finished their careers with two apiece, while Iverson upped them by one.
Alonzo Mourning
Blake Griffin

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Yao Ming Standing 7 feet, 6 inches tall, this gigantic center made a case year after year that he should have an MVP attached to his name. Do you know him?
Jeremy Lin
Pau Gasol
Yao Ming
Yao Ming surprised the entire NBA world with his unique combination of extreme size and offensive skill. To his detriment, however, that size took its toll on his body, and he was out of the league after only eight seasons.
Omri Casspi

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Carmelo Anthony It's hard to win an MVP when you're competing against the likes of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant like this player. Who is he?
Carmelo Anthony
While LeBron James was creating a super team in Miami with his friends, Carmelo Anthony decided that money was more important and went to the Knicks in 2011. Anthony got his money, but he never advanced far in the playoffs.
Alonzo Mourning
Rajon Rondo
Jerry Lucas

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