Probably the worst kept secret of the year has finally been revealed. LeBron James has been named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player for the 2nd year in a row. James earns his 4th MVP overall, joining an elite class of NBA legends. Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Wilt Chamberlain all earned at least 4 MVP awards as well. While the NBA released the winner, they haven’t released how many votes James won the MVP by. How much did he distance himself from other MVP hopefuls? Did Kevin Durant come in 2nd place again?
The Miami Heat are planning a ceremony for James on Sunday, and he will be presented the award by NBA Commissioner David Stern. The Heat have been awaiting their next opponent in the 2nd round of the NBA Playoffs. The top seed in the Eastern Conference will face either Chicago or New Jersey, who are currently going into a Game 7.
At 28, James will be the youngest player to raise a 4th MVP trophy in the air. Here are his comments about being mentioned along side the NBA legends who won at least 4 MVP’s:
“Anytime I’m mentioned with the greatest players to play the game, it’s a wow factor,” James said. “I grew up and studied those guys, watched those guys. A few of them were my inspiration.”
Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra on James winning MVP:
“He’s earned it,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said after Friday’s practice. “He’s having an even more historic season than he’s had the last two years. Most people probably didn’t think he could go to a higher level after last season, yet he reinvented himself to show that he could. Our pinch-ourselves moment was when we signed him. But since we’ve had him, we don’t take him for granted.”
James shot career best averages from the field (56%) and from the 3-point line (40%), while averaging 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.7 steals and one block in 76 games in his 10th season. Here is teammate Chris Bosh’s comments on James’ 4th MVP:
“I don’t know who else you’d vote for — no offense to nobody else, with all due respect,” Bosh said in support of James. “But that’s just how good he’s played this year.”
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holds the record with 6 MVP’s, winning 5 of those before he was 30 years old. Bill Russell won the award 4 times in 5 years. With his newest accolade, you can’t imagine how much better this guy could really get. He’s only beginning to be in his prime playing days. Even though he’s racked up 4 MVP’s, and his 2nd in a row, he still says he wants to improve something about his game.
“My free throw shooting,” James said Friday, referring to his 75.3 percent success rate. “I want to — I need to shoot in the 80s. That’s my next goal. And then, just continue to do what I’ve been doing the last couple of years. But my free throw shooting is what I really want to zone in on.”