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Dwyane Wade still one of the NBA's most popular Finals MVP according to social media
Wade, who won his Finals MVP in 06, is a top 3 favorite winner of the award.
The Denver Nuggets ousted the Miami Heat out of the playoffs, and became NBA champions in a gentleman sweep. They eliminated Miami 4-1 in front of their home crowd as the franchise secured their first championship.
Not only does the team get awarded with the Larry O’Brien trophy, but the Finals MVP trophy is also given out following the series win. Now named after the great Bill Russell, the recipient of that trophy wound up being Nikola Jokic this season.
Jokic absolutely dominated the entire postseason, and was a force against Miami as well.
Betway sports, https://betway.com/en/sports, decided to make a social media poll following the Finals MVP award, and asked fans which Finals MVP was their favorite?
Both Dwyane Wade and LeBron James won the award repping a Miami Heat jersey. However, it was Wade who received more votes and was a top 3 favorite Finals MVP.
Which NBA MVPs do fans love the most?
Comparing the complete list of basketball players who have previously won the Finals MVP award, Betway was able to reveal those who are most popular among fans according to social media sentiment data.
Claiming the crown as the most-loved NBA MVP is San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan, who has 20.71% positive sentiment online.
Former Dallas Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki came in at second with 20.56% positive sentiment, and Dwyane Wade finishing off the top three with 20.48%.
Wade's former teammate and friend LeBron James came in just outside the top 5, coming in at the 7th most popular Finals MVP, with 18.61%. Here were the official results:
Tim Duncan: 20.71%
Dirk Nowitzki: 20.56%
Dwyane Wade: 20.48%
Hakeem Olajuwon: 20.11%
Nikola Jokic: 19.89%
Kobe Bryant: 19.89%
LeBron James: 18.61%
Steph Curry: 18.09%
Tony Parker: 17.99%
Shaquille O'Neil: 17.94%
Michael Jordan: 17.55%
Andre Iguodala: 16.95%
Chauncey Billups: 16.81%
Kevin Durant: 16.58%
Giannis Antetokounmpo: 16.39%
Paul Pierce: 15.99%
Kawhi Leonard: 15.13%
To determine the MVPs with the most positive online sentiment, Betway used the Linkfluence social listening tool. Linkfluence crawls data on mentions across the internet from November 2022. Using this data, they ranked players on who was most positively talked about online.
Dwyane Wade was always a popular player throughout his career. He retired a 3-time champion, 13-time NBA All-Star, 2 All-NBA First Team selections, an Olympic gold medalist, and of course an NBA Finals MVP.
However, that 2006 Finals performance is what helped elevate Wade not just as a player, but with popularity. Wade was a lot younger at the time. Drafted in 2003, that Finals against the Dallas Mavericks was only 3 full calendar years apart from his draft day.
A lot of NBA fans were just learning who Dwyane Wade was, and there was no better way for him to showcase his talents than on a nationally televised NBA Finals stage.
Wade led the Heat to their first NBA championship after falling into an 0-2 series hole. Miami went on to rally back and win 4 straight games after that, and the rest is history.
It should come to no surprise that Wade’s Finals MVP award were one of fan’s favorites out of everyone. He single handedly brought new life to South Beach during that 06’ run, and it will be remembered as one of the greatest individual series performances of all-time.
He averaged 34.7 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 6 games in the 2006 NBA Finals.