James awarded NBA MVP for third time
Miami Heat forward LeBron James was awarded his third NBA MVP award on Saturday.
James received 85 of 121 first-place votes and 1,074 points. Oklahoma City guard and scoring champion Kevin Durant finished second with 24 first-place votes and 889 points. The rest of the top five (with first-place votes and points) include Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul (six, 385), Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (two, 352) and San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker (four, 331).
James won the award for the third time in four years. He averaged 27.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 1.9 steals and shot 53 percent from the field in the regular season. Only Michael Jordan (1988-89) exceeded those numbers in a single season, although he did not win the MVP award that season.
James is one of eight players in league history to win at least three NBA MVP awards. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six), Jordan (five), Bill Russell (five) and Wilt Chamberlain (four) are the only players who have won the award more times than James. Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Moses Malone also won it three times.
James will be presented with the MVP Award on Sunday by commissioner David Stern before James’ Heat begin a second-round playoff series against the Indiana Pacers.
“We have a bigger goal,” James told reporters Saturday, according to the Miami Herald. “I want that championship. That’s all that matters to me. … It didn’t take another MVP for me to want to win a championship. I’d give all three back if I could win a championship.”