LeBron James will win his fourth NBA MVP in five years.
Sources tell ESPN that LeBron James will officially be named MVP for the fourth time. James was also voted MVP last season, and joins Bill Russell as the only other player to win four MVP awards in five years. The only question now is the margin by which James wins the award.
The Heat, currently idle after sweeping the Milwaukee Bucks, have scheduled an awards presentation Sunday. NBA Commissioner David Stern will present James with the MVP trophy at the beginning of the second-round series next week.
James led the Heat to a franchise-best 66-16 record and a franchise record 27-game winning streak. Currently in his tenth season, James averaged 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.7 steals and one block in 76 games. He shot career-best percentages from the field (.565) and 3-point range (.406).
Head coach Erik Spoelstra said James has earned the MVP title this season. From ESPN's report:
"He's having an even more historic season than he's had the last two years. Most people probably didn't think he could go to a higher level after last season, yet he reinvented himself to show that he could. Our pinch-ourselves moment was when we signed him. But since we've had him, we don't take him for granted."
James' teammate Chris Bosh also considered MVP of the season. From ESPN:
"I don't know who else you'd vote for no offense to nobody else, with all due respect," Bosh said in support of James. "But that's just how good he's played this year."
At 28, James will be the youngest in league history to claim a fourth MVP. James joins Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabaar and Wilt Chamberlain as a player with at least four MVP awards. From ESPN's report:
"Anytime I'm mentioned with the greatest players to play the game it's a wow factor," James said of comparisons to other four-time MVPs. "I grew up and studied those guys, watched those guys. A few of them were my inspiration."