You cannot win the NBA MVP award by accident. Every single player who has won it either is or will be in the Hall of Fame. Over such a brutal, physically demanding 82 game season, the best players are able to fight through the monotony and post incredible numbers that both cement their status as superstars and also lift their teams up to championship levels. To read the list of MVPs is to read a history of the game’s best players: Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell in the 1960s, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the 1970s, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson in the 1980s, Michael Jordan in the 1990s, and now, with his fourth MVP, LeBron James has to be considered right alongside those other luminaries.

The MVP award has been handed out every year since 1956, and those 58 winners all had tremendous seasons. However, for a variety of reasons, some of those seasons stand out a little bit more than others. We present the 25 Best MVP Seasons in NBA History.