LeBron James Wins 2012 KIA NBA MVP
Image Credit: NBA.com
LeBron James of the Miami Heat won the 2012 KIA NBA MVP award, according to the latest NBA headline news at NBA.com on Friday, May 11, 2012. James is winning the NBA MVP award for the third time in four seasons.
Reports say that the MVP votes will be revealed on Saturday.
NBA Commissioner David Stern will present James his NBA MVP trophy on Sunday afternoon before Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series between the Miami Heat versus Indiana Pacers.
James will join seven other players who have at least three NBA MVP trophies that include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Moses Malone.
James said last week that while another MVP award “would be amazing and would be humbling,” it’s not what drives him. In his ninth season, James still has not won an NBA title and it’s clear that, although he wanted to reclaim the MVP trophy, winning a championship is far and away his top basketball priority.
“What I’m all about is team and ever since I was a kid, I was always taught it’s team first,” James told the AP on Friday. “My first time playing basketball, we went undefeated and won a championship and Frank Walker Sr. gave everyone on the team a MVP trophy. Right then and there, I knew that this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to see my teammates reap the benefits as well.”
Abdul-Jabbar won the MVP six times, Jordan and Russell five times each, Chamberlain four times. After this weekend, they’ll be the only players with more than James.
James averaged 27.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists – making him only the fourth player with those totals in at least two different seasons, according to STATS LLC, joining Oscar Robertson (five times), John Havlicek (twice) and Bird (twice).
Add James’ 53 percent shooting and 1.9 steals per game into the mix, and the club gets even more exclusive. Only Jordan had a season with numbers exceeding what James did this season in those categories – 1988-89, when he averaged 32.5 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and 2.9 steals on 54 percent shooting.
“I think LeBron is an MVP candidate every year,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said last month. “It’s just who he is. He only does everything. So I don’t know what more you can ask from him.
Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant was thought to be James’ top competition for the MVP, after winning the NBA scoring title for a third straight season. Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs also had seasons that generated some MVP buzz.
James’ teammates also lobbied for him to be defensive player of the year this season, noting that probably no one else in the league routinely plays four positions on offense while sometimes being asked to guard anyone from a point guard to a center on defense. James was fourth in that balloting.
Last season’s MVP, Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, appeared in only 39 of 66 regular-season games this season because of a variety of injuries. His season ended in Game 1 of the Bulls’ first-round playoff series against Philadelphia, when he tore a knee ligament.
Many in the Heat organization thought James should have won the award a year ago as well, when he dealt with constant fallout from “The Decision” to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers as a free agent and sign with Miami, where he, Wade and Chris Bosh formed a “Big Three” that has been celebrated at home and reviled in just about every other NBA arena.
Shaquille O’Neal won his only MVP award before coming to Miami, and James won the 2009 and 2010 trophies with the Cavaliers – collecting 225 of a possible 244 first-place votes in those seasons.
The NBA MVP trophy is named for Maurice Podoloff, the league’s first commissioner. Heat assistant coach Bob McAdoo won the award once, for the Buffalo Braves in 1975.