The 8 Best MVP Seasons in NBA History

Which players have really been the most valuable in earning the hardware?

Comparing MVP seasons isn't something you see a lot of today. It's even more rare to see someone comparing MVP seasons across eras. For whatever reason -- pace, competition, player quality -- it seems like, as a whole, the NBA community is afraid to tackle that kind of thing.

The concerns have merit, as factors like pace have varied from era-to-era. Some players have benefited from faster times, full of offensive flow and minimal defense. Others have been hindered by slower times of defense and high intensity.

Nonetheless, one thing that carries over, unaffected by pace and the like, is winning. Wins are a stat in and of itself.

With that, it makes sense that win shares are an advanced stat worth discussing across eras. After all, they're nothing more than the number of wins a player contributes over the course of a season. In the same vein, win shares per 48 are unencumbered but even more accurate as they discard volume, boiling everything down to a period of one full game.

Consequently, based on win shares tallied per 48 minutes (and with the help of Basketball Reference), we are able to find the most valuable of the NBA's 61 MVP seasons.

Of them, there are eight seasons that stand out the most. In all eight, the MVP earned at least .300 win shares per 48 minutes of play. Remarkably, the list is composed of just half (four) as many players.

How? Who?!

Read on to find the answers to these questions.