Ranking every NBA Finals MVP in Los Angeles Lakers history

Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers (Photo credit: PAUL BUCK/AFP via Getty Images)
Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers (Photo credit: PAUL BUCK/AFP via Getty Images) /
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The Los Angeles Lakers are arguably the most successful franchise in NBA history. With a record 32 trips to the Finals and 17 championships to their name, no team has a track record of sustained success like the Lakers.

Since the franchise began in 1947, the Lake Show has won over 3,500 games and owns the second-highest winning percentage of all time. Through the decades and across different eras, the team in Purple and Gold has found a way to stay relevant time after time.

Countless great players have come through the organization over the years. Of course, the most memorable players to fans are the ones that played major roles in helping the team win championships. Some are more beloved than others for different reasons.

Here, we will look at each Finals MVP award winner in Lakers history and break down how they stack up against one another. Rankings will be determined by each player’s performance or performances in the series where they took home the Finals MVP.

Ranking every NBA Finals MVP in Lakers history:

8. Jerry West

Finals MVP: 1969

It may seem odd that only eight Laker players have won a Finals MVP across the franchise’s 17 championships, but it is important to remember that the award did not yet exist for LA’s first four NBA titles.

This low number also speaks to the extent LA has dominated the NBA over the decades. Not only have the Lakers employed some of the greatest players in history, but several of their Finals MVPs stayed with the team long enough to win a second one.

The very first year the NBA awarded a Finals MVP was 1969, when the Boston Celtics defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games. Though his Lakers did not take home the championship trophy, Jerry West was given the award for Most Valuable Player of the series.

Without a three-point arc to boost his numbers, West put up an astounding 37.9 points and 7.4 assists in the series, while competing against the likes of Bill Russell, John Havlicek and Sam Jones. His selection remains the only Finals MVP to ever be awarded to a player on the losing team.