CHICAGO – For many, it was something that was overdue, considering his talent and contributions to the National Basketball Association.
Starting in 2023, the winner of the league’s most valuable player award in the regular season will receive “The Michael Jordan Trophy,” named after what many consider to be the greatest professional basketball player in history.
The Basketball Hall of Famer led the Bulls to unprecedented success in the 1990s, building them up to that point in the 1980s. Hence Jordan won the award he’s now named after five times during his tenure in Chicago, which is tied with Bill Russell for second in league history.
Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has more, as he finished with six in his Hall of Fame career with the Bucks and Lakers.
Jordan won his first regular season MVP in the 1987-1988 campaign when he truly arrived as a superstar in the NBA. Leading the league with 35 points per game and 3.2 steals per contest, the guard was also named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year for the only time in his career.
With Jordan leading the way, the Bulls won 50 games for the first time in his tenure and won their first playoff series, defeating the Cavaliers in the first round in five games.
Oh, and he also won the All-Star Game Slam Dunk Contest and the midseason classic’s MVP at Chicago Stadium in February 1988.
As the Bulls got to championship level, the future Hall of Famer captured back-to-back MVP awards in the 1990-1991 and 1991-1992 seasons. He averaged 31.5 points in the first of those campaigns and then 30.1 in the second as the Bulls went over the 60 win mark both seasons.
Along with leading the team to their first two championships, Jordan was also named the Associated Press’ Athlete of the Year in 1991, 1992, and 1993.
In his first full season after his first retirement in the fall of 1993, the guard returned to the top of the NBA throne as he won his fourth MVP in the 1995-1996 season. In leading the Bulls to a then regular season record 72 wins, he would average 30 points for the final time in his career to win the scoring title (30.4) and eventually led them to a fourth NBA title.
After being beat out by Jazz forward Karl Malone the next season, Jordan won his fifth and final MVP during his last campaign with the Bulls in 1997-1998. It marked the tenth time that he won the scoring title, the tenth time he made the All-NBA first team, and the ninth time he made the NBA’s All-Defensive team.
Jordan would finish “The Last Dance” by leading the Bulls to their sixth NBA championship in the 1990s before retiring for a second time in January 1999.
Larry Hawley spotlighted these five times Jordan won the MVP award that’s now named after him in this edition of #WGNTBT, which you can watch in the video above.