Skip to main content

The only player to win back-to-back MVPs with two different franchises

Moses-Malone

Only 11 NBA players managed to win back-to-back regular-season MVPs. But even in such an elite company, there’s a standout. Only one player won the award in two consecutive years while playing on two different teams, and his name is Moses Malone.

The Hall of Fame center won his second overall MVP award during the 81-82 NBA season, as he led the Houston Rockets to a 46-36 record and the sixth seed in the West. Now don’t let the Rockets’ seeding mislead you – what Malone did for the season was nothing short of impressive. How does averaging 31.1 points and league-leading 14.7 rebounds sound to you? Oh, and he only missed a single regular-season game while leading the NBA in minutes played, both cumulatively and per game-wise.

Malone also contributed to a league-leading 15.4 wins for his team. Even with such impact by a single player, the Rockets only scraped out 46 wins in a season. Let’s face it; they weren’t such a good team. It manifested through the post-season, where Houston was bounced by the SuperSonics in the first round. But it doesn’t make Malone’s season any less impressive. What he did over 82 games was more than worthy of an MVP award.

After his MVP campaign, Moses became a restricted free agent. What happened next is, to this day, one of the biggest heists the NBA has ever witnessed. Big Mo ended up in Philadelphia via a sign-and-trade deal that got the Rockets a 32-year-old Caldwell Jones and a future first-round pick. What Houston got in return for the NBA MVP was a joke, but it ended up working out for them. The pick they’ve acquired in the deal turned out to be Ralph Sampson, which Houston paired with Hakeem Olajuwon the next summer. You know how that story goes.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

As far as Philadelphia is concerned, the trio of Malone, Dr. J, and Maurice Cheeks brought them a title in their first season of playing together. They ran through the regular season with a record of 67-15, led by Big Mo’s second straight MVP-worthy 82 games stretch.

“In Philly, I have players around me that I know what they can do – people like Doc and Toney. At Houston, they went to me all the time and they looked for 30-36 points from me every night. But here, I don’t have to worry about that, and it’s more relaxing for me.”

Moses Malone, NBA

Having a ‘lesser role’ took a toll on Malone’s statistical output, but it got him the NBA championship. It’s a trade-off most NBA players would go for. But even then, Moses did put up great numbers. He averaged 24.5 points and once again league-leading 15.3 rebounds per contest. Big Mo also led the NBA in PER with 25.1, while once again leading the association in win shares with 15.1.

The Sixers swept the Lakers in the Finals, and Chairman of the Boards ran away with the Finals MVP award, rounding up a perfect two-year stretch, where he became an NBA champion while being the Finals MVP also winning back to back regular season MVPs for two different franchises. Oh, and he’s still the only one to do it. And to be honest, I don’t see anyone doing it anytime soon.

Willy Hernangomez says Zion Williamson is on a mission this season

Willy Hernangomez offers a frightening take on Zion Williamson ahead of this season -“He wants to destroy everybody”

Hernangomez said Williamson "wants to destroy everybody" in his return to the court after missing the entire 2021-22 season

James Harden said that his explosiveness is getting there after it was noticeably absent during his stint with the Sixers last season

James Harden and his quest to regain his explosiveness for the Philadelphia 76ers: "It's getting there"

Harden clearly wasn't himself during his first few months with the 76ers, but the good news is that he believes his explosiveness is getting back to what it used to be

Dirk Nowitzki at the 1998 Nike Hoop Summit

"Between practices I had to get tutoring in a separate room" - Dirk Nowitzki used to bring a tutor with him while traveling with Germany's junior national team

Dirk Nowitzki revealed that he had to bring a private tutor with him during his days with Germany's junior national team as he had to play and study at the same time.

Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson

"Are you willing to come back and be a coachable player?"-How Phil Jackson talked to Kobe Bryant before they reunited in 2006

The time Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson spent apart from each other made them realize that they needed each other to accomplish their goals.

Denver Nuggets mascot Rocky

Denver Nuggets mascot Rocky outearns several NBA players

Denver Nuggets mascot Rocky is closer to making a million each year than some NBA players on minimum contracts.

ben-wallace-darvin-ham-min

“I know he’s a great locker room guy!”- Ben Wallace believes Darvin Ham will do great things with the Lakers

Darvin Ham and Ben Wallace won a title together and their bond will forever remain tight.

Reggie Miller doing the choke sign

Reggie Miller on talking to New York Knicks fans: 'They love to come up and do the choke sign. They think it’s so cool'

Reggie Miller said most Knicks fans still hate him and they let him know about it by doing doing his iconic choke taunt in 1995.