List of all the MVPs in New Orleans Pelicans history

Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets. LeBron James, Miami Heat. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets. LeBron James, Miami Heat. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

There are few honors in basketball like earning the Most Valuable Player (MVP) designation – both for the fans and the team. From the fan perspective, it is exhilarating showing up to the arena each and every home game, knowing that you get a chance to watch a special talent grace the hardwood. And for the team, having an MVP-caliber player usually means that you have a really good team (which is good for fans too).

With that said, in their soon-to-be 22-year history, the New Orleans Pelicans/Hornets have never had a player earn MVP. However, they have had a couple of guys come pretty close.

The closest a Pelican/Hornet has come to winning MVP is franchise icon, Chris Paul. The closest he ever came was in 2007-08 when he finished 2nd in MVP voting, only losing out to Kobe Bean Bryant himself. That year, Paul earned 28 first-place votes and 894 points total (Bryant earned 82 first-place votes and 1100 points total).

Outside of his second-place finish in 2007-08, Paul also finished 5th in MVP voting in 2008-09 (earning two first-place votes and 192 total points) and 13th place in 2010-11 (zero first-place votes and two total points).

After Paul, Anthony Davis also came pretty close to being league MVP twice. The first time was during the 2014-15 season when Davis finished 5th in MVP voting (zero first-place votes and 203 total points). Then, he came even closer in 2017-18, finishing in 3rd place (zero first-place votes and 445 total points) behind LeBron James (15 first-place votes and 738 total points) and James Harden (86 first-place votes and 965 total points).

Other than Davis and Paul, the only other Pelicans/Hornets to have their name end up on an MVP ballot were Jamal Mashburn, Baron Davis, and P.J. Brown. Mashburn tied for eleventh in 2002-03 (the franchise’s first official season). Davis tied for tenth in MVP voting in 2003-04. And lastly, Brown tied for 14th in 2004-05.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, there is a belief that a healthy Zion Williamson could someday garner MVP votes as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans.

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