Page last updated on Wed Dec 02 01:56:43 EST 2015
Tue, 15 May 2012 03:16 AM EDT

James accepted his 3rd NBA MVP award, making him the 8th player in league history to win that many. The others players– Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Moses Malone — all have won NBA titles.

James received 85 of a possible 121 1st-place votes from a panel of sports writers and broadcasters who cover the league, with followers on NBA internet site mixing for one vote, he earned 1,074 points.

James lauded the other top candidates for the MVP, and lauded his teammates and those close to him even more.

“This is a team game and I wouldn’t be receiving what I’ve received during the past and now in the present without my squad and without my family and friends who’ve helped me to this point,” James announced away from the stage. “Even though it’s an individual award, I always go back to my teammates. I mostly go back to my friends and my family. Nobody can do it alone.”

The way some around the Heat see it, Sat. could have been a 4th straight MVP for James.

His numbers this season — 27.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists and 1.9 steals per game on 53 % shooting — are highly comparable to last season, when he finished a distant 3rd in the MVP race behind Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard.

Similar numbers, far better result. And James understands why.

A year ago, following all of the fallout that accompanied his call to leave Cleveland and sign with Miami, James recognized there wasn’t any way he was going to have voters back him for a 3rd straight season. Long before the results were in, James knew the 2011 MVP was not going to be his.

“I just felt like there was nothing good that was going to come out as far as the individual accolades,” James expounded. “I wanted to be an MVP for this team, but it was unimportant to me what the world outside was pronouncing. It was of no significance what the voters were saying last year. It was just about this team.”

“I’m not saying that is changed,” he added, “but I believe time heals everything.”

Heat assistant coach Bob McAdoo won the MVP while playing for the Buffalo Braves in 1975. McAdoo recounted James had to deal “absolute hate” last year after his move to Miami and some assume the side effects kept him from getting as many MVP votes as he could have deserved a year back. Basketball spreads

James got the word about this MVP award last Thursday. Longtime mate and close partner Randy Mims delivered the message because James couldn’t be reached when the call came. Of all the messages Mims has given James over the years, this one was remarkable, he announced.

“It was kind of an accolade, truthfully,” Mims declared, “a significant honor. His response, it was like a breath of fresh air, like, ‘Wow, I did?’ I know what was put into this year, being a factor of it. I know exactly what we went through last year and trying to just rebuild him, his game, some of the things he needed to get back to doing as a person.”

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