A list of NBA Most Improved Player award winners over the years

A list of NBA Most Improved Player award winners over the years

Grace Waruguru
May 15, 2024 at 8:56 PM

The list of NBA Most Improved Player Award winners features some of the best players in the sport. These stars made their mark in the sport and enjoyed decorated careers. We reveal the list of these award winners throughout NBA history and the years they attained the accolade.

Victor Oladipo, Tyrese Maxey, Pascal Siakam
Victor Oladipo, Tyrese Maxey, and Pascal Siakam are on the list of Most Valuable Player winners. Photo: @victoroladipo, @tyresemaxey, @pskills43 (Modified by author)
Source: Instagram

Table of Сontents:

The Most Improved Player (MIP) is an annual accolade awarded to NBA stars with visible growth and improvement in a season. These players remain committed to attaining their goals and have become invaluable assets. Here is the list of MIP Award winners over the years, according to Land of Basketball and other reliable sources.

List of NBA Most Improved Player award winners

The MIP winner is selected by a group of sports journalists across America and Canada who vote for the first, second, and third place. The athlete with the most votes wins the prize. Players must appear in at least 65 games to be eligible.

Since the 2023 season, MIP winners have received the George Mikan Trophy named after the five-time NBA Champion. Here is a list of all the Most Improved Player NBA winners since 1986.

NBA Most Improved Player award winners from 1986-1990

Tracy McGrady MIP winner 2001
Tracy McGrady attends the game between the Orlando Magic and the Atlanta Hawks on January 07, 2024, in Orlando, Florida. Photo: James Gilbert
Source: Getty Images

The first MIP award was given in 1986. The selection process was initially open-ended. Here is every NBA Most Improved Player for the first five years since its inception.




Alvin Robertson


San Antonio Spurs

Dale Ellis


Seattle Supersonics

Kevin Duckworth


Portland Trail Blazers

Kevin Johnson


Phoenix Suns

Rony Seikaly


Miami Heat

List of NBA Most Improved Players from 1991-2000

Between 1991 and 2000, Washington Bullets stars won the award three times. Gheorghe Muresan is the only winner born outside the United States. Here is the list of MIP winners in that decade.




Scott Skiles


Orlando Magic

Pervis Ellison


Washington Bullets

Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf


Denver Nuggets

Don MacLean


Washington Bullets

Dana Barros


Philadelphia 76ers

Gheorghe Muresan


Washington Bullets

Isaac Austin


Miami Heat

Alan Henderson


Atlanta Hawks

Darrell Armstrong


Orlando Magic

Jalen Rose


Indiana Pacers

Most Improved Player winners from 2001-2010

Ryan Anderson MIP winner 2012
Ryan Anderson during the game between the Houston Rockets and the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 18, 2018, at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo: Hannah Foslien
Source: Getty Images

Tracy McGrady is a retired shooting guard and small forward who has been a member of seven NBA All-Star teams. He won the accolade in 2001 with the Orlando Magic.

McGrady is the only recipient to win a scoring title and become the first MIP winner named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Here is a list of the NBA's Most Improved Player winners by year in that decade.




Tracy McGrady


Orlando Magic

Jermaine O'Neal


Indiana Pacers

Gilbert Arenas


Golden State Warriors

Zach Randolph


Portland Trail Blazers

Bobby Simmons


Los Angeles Clippers

Boris Diaw


Phoenix Suns

Monta Ellis


Golden State Warriors

Hedo Turkoglu


Orlando Magic

Danny Granger


Indiana Pacers

Aaron Brooks


Houston Rockets

NBA's list of Most Improved Players from 2011-2020

Boris Djaw MIP winner 2006
Boris Diaw visits Le Havre northern France, on November 6, 2021. Photo by Loic Venance
Source: Getty Images

In this decade, Jimmy Butler, Kevin Love, Victor Oladipo, and Brandon Ingram won the MIP and were selected to the All-Star game the same year. Here are the 10 NBA players who won the award between 2011 and 2020.




Kevin Love


Minnesota Timberwolves

Ryan Anderson


Orlando Magic

Paul George


Indiana Pacers

Goran Dragic


Phoenix Suns

Jimmy Butler


Chicago Bulls

C.J. McCollum


Portland Trail Blazers

Giannis Antetokounmpo


Milwaukee Bucks

Victor Oladipo


Indiana Pacers

Pascal Siakam


Toronto Raptors

Brandon Ingram


New Orleans Pelicans

MIP winners from 2021-2024

Giannis Antetokounmpo MIP winner 2017
Giannis Antetokounmpo before the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at Fiserv Forum on April 03, 2024, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Photo: John Fisher
Source: Getty Images

In recent years, the incentive to win the coveted MIP has seen increased competition among athletes. According to Phillyburbs, Tyrese Maxey attained 25.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 6.2 assists during his breakout season. Here are the winners since 2021.




Julius Randle


New York Knicks

Ja Morant


Memphis Grizzlies

Lauri Markkanen


Utah Jazz

Tyrese Maxey


Philadelphia 76ers

Frequently asked questions

The MIP is among several NBA honours given to exceptional athletes every season. Here are some common questions concerning the accolade:

Who is the Most Improved NBA player of all time?

The award has been awarded annually for the last 37 years. Every year, a different talent receives the trophy and earns recognition in other areas of the sport.

Has any player won the MIP twice?

Kevin Love MIP winner 2011
Kevin Love during the game against the Boston Celtics on April 21, 2024, at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo: Brian Babineau
Source: Getty Images

No athlete has won the MIP twice in NBA history. The team with the most athletes on the list is the Indiana Pacers, who have earned the honour five times. (2000, 2002, 2009, 2013, 2018).

What is the Most Improved Player award description?

The MIP recognizes the star who has significantly improved since the previous regular season. Journalists from America and Canada vote for the winner of the annual accolade.

Which MIP winner is on the list of NBA MVP award winners?

The Most Valuable Player (MVP) award is given annually to the best-performing players of the season. Winners receive the Michael Jordan Trophy. Giannis Antetokounmpo is the only player to receive the MIP and NBA MVP in the same season (2017).

Final word

The list of NBA Most Improved Player award winners has evolved, given the changing criteria for selecting and awarding winners. NBA fans can expect a thrilling experience as upcoming players play to improve their game in subsequent seasons.

READ ALSO: A detailed list of Kobe Bryant's accomplishments

Sports Brief published an article listing all the trophies and achievements that ''The Mamba'' won during his tenure with the NBA. Kobe had an exceptional 20-year NBA career, and his legacy has outlived him and inspired several others.

Bryant won the NBA MVP Award in 2007 and 2008 and appeared in 18 NBA All-Star matches. In December 2012, he became the youngest player to attain 30,000 career points. Read more on his achievements in the league in the above article.

Grace Waruguru photo
Grace Waruguru
Grace has over 4 years of experience in article writing and digital media content creation for various local and global brands. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication (Public Relations) from Daystar University, Kenya.
Giannis Antetokounmpo