Evans Clinchy
Tuesday May 15th, 2012

In winning the NBA MVP trophy this weekend, his third such honor in the last four seasons, LeBron James entered into an elite group of the NBA's all-time greatest players. That being the case, another member of that group praised LeBron for his magnificent season -- Larry Bird, one of the other seven players in history to win three MVPs.

"LeBron is just spectacular," Bird told Mike Berardino of the South Florida Sun Sentinel today. "He's had a great year. He's our best player in the league. This is his time of year."

Bird and James share the exclusive three-MVP club with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson and Moses Malone. Bird won his three awards consecutively, in 1984, '85 and '86; James has nearly equaled that feat with MVPs in 2009, '10 and '12 with a second-place finish in 2011. While Bird lauds James this week, he's also trying to beat him. Bird's Indiana Pacers currently trail LeBron James' Miami Heat 1-0 in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.