It’s Good to be The King; LeBron wins third MVP in four seasons
By: Pedro Heizer
Miami Heat forward, LeBron James, has been named the 2012 NBA Most Valuable Player on Saturday and was awarded the trophy in front of the Miami-faithful in a pre-game ceremony on Sunday before the Miami Heat took on the Pacers in their second round matchup.
LeBron, who received 85 out of the possible 121 first place vote, spoke on Saturday at his acceptance speech about family, team, and most importantly, championship. LeBron closed the press conference in probably the most climatic way possible, “Heat nation, we have a bigger goal,” James said. “This is very overwhelming to me as an individual award. But this is not the award I want, ultimately. I want that championship. That’s all that matters to me.”
There was no doubt LeBron was one of the favorites to win the award. LeBron had one of his best all-around seasons to date averaging 27.1 points per game, 6.2 assists per game, and 7.9 rebounds per game. According to STATS LLC, LeBron is only the fourth player to have those totals in at least two different seasons, joining Oscar Robertson, John Havlicek and Larry Bird.
LeBron also joins the list of all-time greats Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Moses Malone as the only players to have won three or more MVP awards during their playing career.
After taking his talents to South Beach, LeBron stated that the chances of him winning a third MVP were throw out the window because he joined Wade and Bosh in Miami and that personal awards were not his motivation anymore.
“When we decided to come together our Most Valuable Player chances kind of went out the window,” James said about his and Wade’s chances of ever winning an MVP award. “I think they classify it as an individual award. They look at it like the less help you have, the more numbers you have then the better chance for you to win that award.”
Regardless of what LeBron said last season, his accomplishments on the court this season were too great to go unnoticed, ”LeBron has been unbelievable,” guard Dwyane Wade said before the playoffs began. ”He’s done it at both ends, every night, offensively and defensively.”
This year, LeBron was different. This wasn’t the LeBron who calls himself the “Chosen One”, this wasn’t the LeBron who calls himself “King” or that speaks about himself in the third-person. No, this was a humble LeBron, a LeBron that not many have had the privilege to see in the past.
During the conference, LeBron called up his teammates to the podium and said one of the most beautiful things a MVP could say. “These 14 guys right here, they give everything,” James said. “And they give me everything.”
As we all know, last season was a whirlwind with the decision, the off-season party and all the media scrutiny that LeBron and the rest of the Miami Heat were under.
James has stated in the past that last season he was playing angry and that he came into this season with a new mindset, a happier one, one that meant he wasn’t going to play this season the way he did last year when he was consumed by trying to silence critics. The critics, he knows now, won’t be going away.
“I’m not saying that’s changed,” he added, “but I think time heals all.”
Other players that made a run at MVP this season were Oklahoma City superstar Kevin Durant who has won the scoring title three years in a row, Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul who has turned a laughingstock team into a playoff contender, and San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker who single-handedly led the Spurs to the best record in the NBA despite everyone doubting the aging team.
LeBron’s MVP is the first in Heat franchise history, although Heat assistant coach Bob McAdoo won the award once as a player with the Buffalo Braves back in the 1975 season. The NBA MVP trophy is named after Maurice Podoloff, the league’s first commissioner.
“LeBron, to me, is the favorite every year,” Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said. “The years he doesn’t win it, it’ll usually be because people are just tired of voting for him. Statistically, if you go all-around game, I don’t know how you don’t vote for him every year.”
Soon after news broke of James’ third MVP, the twitter and facebook world blew up. Fans posted tweets and statuses congratulating James and calling him the “best player to ever play in the NBA”.
Does LeBron winning his third MVP truly make him the best player to ever play in the NBA? I don’t believe so.
NBA greats like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (6 MVPs), Michael Jordan (5 MVPs), Bill Russell (5 MVPs), and Wilt Chamberlain (4 MVPs) all have something James doesn’t, championship rings.
Another Miami great has had the same situation, Dolphins Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino never won a Super Bowl ring, and although Marino was one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, he was not the greatest one to ever play.
I am certain he will win his first championship this season but, crowning him the best player ever is premature. LeBron is on the right track though, that’s for sure.