18. Jerry West Loses in Finals but Wins MVP

Date: 5/5/1969

The 1969 Finals were Jerry West's sixth trip to the championship round and despite admitted exhaustion, he put forth a valiant effort in search of his first championship. With 53 points in Game 1 and 43 in Game 2, the Lakers jumped out to a 2-0 series lead. But a hamstring injury in Game 5 visibly hobbled West for the remainder of the Finals. Not to be deterred, West still registered a 42-point triple double in Game 7, however it simply wasn't enough. Boston won the game 108-106 and the title. Yet in recognition of his stellar play, West still won Finals MVP, the only player to do so despite losing the championship. Of course this probably added insult to injury for a hypercompetitive player, but it was also a well deserved honor.