Team: Los Angeles Lakers
Opponent: Boston Celtics
Result: Celtics over Lakers, 4-3
Finals stats: 37.9 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 7.4 APG
It was fitting that in the first year of the Finals MVP award's existence, its winner would make history. Despite his incredible performance, Jerry West was unable to guide his Lakers team past the Celtics in a classic seven game series. West's 37.9 points per game average was a record that stood until 1993, and he remains the only player from the losing team ever to win the award.
Game 7, in particular, demonstrated just how great The Logo was; he posted a triple-double of 42 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists, keeping his team in the game despite the fact that he was battling a hamstring pull and Wilt Chamberlain was inexplicably riding the bench late in the fourth quarter. The agonizing loss in the Finals was West's seventh, although he would finally get his elusive title three years later.