LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Michael Jordan are among the stars with the most Player of the Month awards in NBA history

The Most Player Of The Month Awards: LeBron Has More Than Kobe And Jordan Combined

The NBA’s Player of the Month award was created in 1979-80, with Moses Malone becoming its inaugural recipient. From 1980 through 2001, the award was given to just one player around the NBA for their monthly performance until it switched to the East/West format it is known for today. For the most part, the award is talked about for 24 hours before it becomes an afterthought. However, when players accumulate a substantial amount of them, it becomes a much bigger accomplishment which is exactly what the 10 players below have done in their careers.

1. LeBron James – 40 Player Of The Month Awards

LeBron James Took Exactly 368 Games To Go From 0 To 10K Career Points And To Go From 30K To 40K

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LeBron James’ 40 NBA Player of the Month awards are yet another milestone he sits atop the list without it being particularly close. James’ 40 wins are more than double that of the next closest player and he hasn’t been honored with the title since February 2020. Of the six times Player of the Month is given out each season, James has had six seasons in which he was honored with it at least three times and four seasons in which he won it four times.

While his 40 Player of the Month awards may not be nearly as important as being the all-time scoring leader and the first player to ever reach 40,000 points, it is yet another measure of just how dominant he has been for the last 21 seasons. His unprecedented longevity will be something that will remain the gold standard for many more generations of players to come.

2. Kobe Bryant – 17 Player Of The Month Awards

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Coming in second place with 23 fewer awards than James is Kobe Bryant. Bryant was named the NBA’s Player of the Month in the Western Conference 16 times between the 2002 and 2013 seasons. Bryant was also awarded Player of the Month in December 2000 before it switched to an Eastern and Western Conference format. In December 2000, Bryant averaged 32.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 1.3 steals per game on 48.7% shooting to earn the award.

In the 12 seasons in which Bryant won all 17 of his Player of the Month awards, he would win four of his five career NBA championships, two Finals MVP awards, and an MVP award in 2008. He averaged 28.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 1.6 steals per game during this time as well and would cement his legacy as one of the greatest players in NBA history.

3. Michael Jordan – 16 Player Of The Month Awards

Michael Jordan

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With one Player of the Month award separating him and Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan takes the third spot on our list with 16 career wins to his name. The biggest difference between the two is that all 16 of Jordan’s Player of the Month victories came before the format changed over, meaning Jordan was truly the NBA’s Player of the Month and not just in the Eastern Conference.

Jordan took home all 16 of his wins during his absolute peak as a player with his first one coming in 1987 and his final one coming in 1998. This stretch of his career would be when he rose to become the greatest player of all time with six NBA titles, six Finals MVP awards, five MVP awards, 10 scoring titles, and many more accolades and records. This stretch of Jordan’s career saw him average 32.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 2.5 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game on 50.5% shooting. It is still the greatest peak in NBA history.

4. Kevin Durant – 15 Player Of The Month Awards

Kevin Durant

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Coming in fourth place on the list of players with the most career NBA Player of the Month selections is Kevin Durant with 15. Durant is one of six current players with the opportunity to keep adding to their standing among the top 10 in NBA history. Durant won his first Player of the Month back in April 2010 and has not captured another since November 2021.

Durant’s 13-year stretch of play when he was racking up Player of the Month awards was incredible to see, regardless of his decisions to join Golden State in 2016 or Brooklyn in 2019. During this time, Durant would win two NBA titles, two Finals MVP awards, an MVP award in 2014, and four scoring titles. He averaged 28.1 points, 7.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game on 50/38/88 shooting splits becoming one of the greatest scorers the game has ever seen.

5. Shaquille O’Neal – 12 Player Of The Month Awards

Shaquille O'Neal

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Shaquille O’Neal is a lot like Michael Jordan on this list with his 12 career Player of the Month awards from 1994 through 2005. O’Neal earned his first 10 selections before the format changed to the Eastern/Western Conference format, with his first coming in December 1993 and his last coming in April 2001. During this time, O’Neal ascended to the pinnacle of the NBA, becoming the most dominant force in NBA history.

O’Neal would add his final two Player of the Month Awards in March 2003 and March 2005. In the stretch in which he accumulated the 12 Player of the Month awards, he averaged 27.1 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game with three of his four NBA titles, three Finals MVP awards, and an MVP award in 2000.

6. James Harden – 11 Player Of The Month Awards

James Harden

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James Harden’s ascent to becoming one of the biggest stars in the NBA with the Houston Rockets was an exciting time in the NBA. Harden was both an accomplished playmaker and scorer with the Rockets during the 2010s. He won his first two Player of the Month awards in December and January of the 2014-15 season and won his 11th in February 2021 with the Brooklyn Nets.

Of Harden’s 11 career Player of the Month selections, nine of them came while he was in the Western Conference with the Rockets from 2015 through 2020. During this time, he averaged 30.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 8.3 assists per game on 44.2% shooting with three scoring titles and an MVP in 2018 to his name. He would win two more in the Eastern Conference with the Nets in February and March 2021, averaging 26.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 11.1 assists per game in 25 games played.

7. Giannis Antetokounmpo – 10 Player Of The Month Awards

Giannis Antetokounmpo

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Something tells me that Giannis Antetokounmpo, who just celebrated his 29th birthday three months ago, isn’t done adding to his seventh-most total of 10 Player of the Month awards. Giannis first captured a Player of the Month award back in March 2017 when he averaged 22.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.4 steals, and 1.7 blocks per game for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Since the time of his first Player of the Month honor, Giannis has won an NBA championship and Finals MVP in 2021 as well as two MVP awards in 2019 and 2020. From 2018 through the present day, he has averaged 29.0 points, 11.7 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game while capturing eight more Player of the Month awards with his last one coming this season in December.

T8. Stephen Curry – 9 Player Of The Month Awards

Stephen Curry

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The most surprising part of Stephen Curry being eighth all-time in career Player of the Month awards with nine is the fact he has won the award just nine times. After introducing the world to the power of the three-point shot in championship-winning formulas in 2015, Curry has been named Player of the Month nine times out of a possible 45 times.

Curry was named Player of the Month for the first time in April 2013, well before he was ever an NBA champion. Fast forward to today, Curry has won just eight more honors since with his last win coming in November 2021. In total during that time, Curry has led the Warriors to four NBA titles with one Finals MVP and two MVP awards in 2015 and 2016, including the NBA’s first-ever unanimous MVP award win. He averaged 26.2 points and 6.7 assists per game during this time, shooting an incredible 42.6% from three, 47.4% overall, and 90.9% from the foul line.

T8. Kevin Garnett – 9 Player Of The Month Awards

Kevin Garnett

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Kevin Garnett is likely to see his name surpassed more and more over the next few seasons but for now he remains in a tie with Stephen Curry for eighth all-time with nine Player of the Month awards. Garnett captured his first Player of the Month honor in January 2000 under the old format, averaging 25.8 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 1.7 blocks per game with Minnesota.

Garnett would win all nine of his Player of the Month honors from 2000 through 2005 with the Timberwolves, averaging 22.6 points, 12.7 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.7 blocks per game. He would capture an MVP award in 2004 as well, winning four Player of the Month awards that season alone.

T10. Chris Paul – 8 Player Of The Month Awards

Chris Paul Sounds Relieved After Finally Playing For The Team Like The Golden State Warriors

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Tied for 10th place in NBA history with eight Player of the Month awards are two point guards currently active but have watched the time to make their way up this list pass them by. The first one of these players is veteran Chris Paul who won his eight Player of the Month awards from 2008 through 2017 with the Hornets and Clippers.

During this run, Paul averaged 19.1 points, 10.2 assists, and 2.3 steals per game. Although he has never won an MVP award or NBA championship, Paul revolutionized the point guard position while becoming one of the greatest floor generals in NBA history. Since his last Player of the Month award in 2017, Paul has averaged 15.5 points, 8.4 assists, and 1.6 steals per game with the Rockets, Thunder, Suns, and Warriors.

T10. Russell Westbrook – 8 Player Of The Month Awards

Russell Westbrook

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The player to round out the top 10 here today, likely to not see his name called again for the Player of the Month award, is Clippers point guard Russell Westbrook. From 2015 through 2021, Westbrook captured all eight of his wins with the Thunder, Rockets, and Wizards. During this time, Westbrook made NBA history becoming the second player in NBA history to average a triple-double for an entire season, doing it a total of four times and breaking Oscar Robertson’s career record.

From 2015-2021, Westbrook averaged 25.9 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 10.0 assists. He was named the 2017 MVP and won two scoring titles as well as three assists titles during this stretch. With him voluntarily reducing his role with the Clippers in 2023-24 to come off the bench, we have likely seen the last of Westbrook ever being named Player of the Month again.

The Rest Of The List

7 Player Of The Month Awards

– Larry Bird, Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, Karl Malone

6 Player Of The Month Awards

– Dwight Howard, Magic Johnson, Dirk Nowitzki, Hakeem Olajuwon, Dwyane Wade

5 Player Of The Month Awards

– Carmelo Anthony, Patrick Ewing

4 Player Of The Month Awards

– Charles Barkley, DeMar DeRozan, Paul George, Allen Iverson, Moses Malone, Tracy McGrady, Paul Pierce, David Robinson, Luka Doncic

3 Player Of The Month Awards

– Devin Booker, Vince Carter, Anthony Davis, Tim Duncan, Tim Duncan, Alex English, Julius Erving, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Jermaine O’Neal, Jayson Tatum, Chris Webber, Dominique Wilkins

2 Player Of The Month Awards

– Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Chauncey Billups, Carlos Boozer, Kevin Johnson, Bernard King, Kyle Lowry, Shawn Marion, Yao Ming, Donovan Mitchell, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen, Glen Rice, Derrick Rose, Jeff Ruland, Amar’e Stoudemire, John Wall

1 Player Of The Month Award

– Mark Aguirre, LaMarcus Aldridge, Gilbert Arenas, Chris Bosh, Elton Brand, Jalen Brunson, Jimmy Butler, DeMarre Carroll, Cedric Ceballos, Terry Cummings, Baron Davis, Larry Drew, Clyde Drexler, Michael Finley, Pau Gasol, George Gervin, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Blake Griffin, Penny Hardaway, Tobias Harris, Grant Hill, Al Horford, Jeff Hornacek, Juwan Howard, Al Jefferson, Joe Johnson, Eddie Jones, Kyle Korver, Fat Lever, Damian Lillard, Jamaal Magloire, Kenyon Martin, Jamal Mashburn, Paul Millsap, Sidney Moncrief, Alonzo Mourning, Calvin Murphy, Larry Nance, Lamar Odom, Tony Parker, Gary Payton, Julius Randle, Zach Randolph, Kelvin Ramsey, Michael Redd, Alvin Robertson, Dennis Rodman, Detlef Schrempf, John Stockton, Peja Stojakovic, Jeff Teague, Isaiah Thomas, Hedo Turkoglu, Antoine Walker, Ben Wallace, Deron Williams, Freeman Williams