THE NBA MADE official Sunday, announcing Miami Heat superstar LeBron James was a near-unanimous choice as Most Valuable Player, earning the award for a second straight year and fourth time overall.
James’s victory in the voting had been widely reported since Friday, although when asked about it the player himself had urged reporters not to “jinx” him by jumping the gun.
He needn’t have worried.
James garnered 120 first-place votes from a possible 121 which included a 120-member media panel and a fan poll conducted on NBA.com that counted for one vote.
“It is probably a writer out of New York that didn’t give me the vote,” James said.
“I know the history between the Heat and the Knicks so I get it.”
James received a total of 1,207 points in the balloting, with Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant a distant second with 765 points and the New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony third with 475 points and one first-place vote.
No player has ever been a unanimous winner. James matched Shaquille O’Neal — as a Los Angeles Laker in 2001 — in receiving all but one first-place vote.
“He deserves it,” teammate Ray Allen said. “What he’s done for this team, we’ve come to expect so many things. He set the bar so high, but what he does is miraculous.”
James joins legends Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Russell as MVP award winners at least four times in their careers.
“It is very humbling. I am just trying to leave my mark and impact,” James said.
James’s four MVP trophies have come in the span of five seasons, a feat only previously accomplished by Russell, who won in 1961, 1962, 1963 and 1965.
James also won in 2009, 2010 and 2012, with Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose interrupted his streak in 2011.
“King James” averaged 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.0 blocked shots a game in 76 appearances this season, his 10th in the NBA.
Here are some of his season highlights:
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