If leading the Miami Heat on a 23 game winning streak while looking like the favorites to repeat as NBA champions this season isn’t enough, maybe the fact that LeBron James might win his fourth MVP award in five years will do it for you. If not, than his consistency, and winning the NBA’s player of the month award 24 times in the last 50 times it’s been handed out, should be the finishing and convincing touch.
This season? LeBron James is averaging 26.7 points per game, 8.2 rebounds (career high so far) and 7.2 assists, leading all players who aren’t point guards, also being the only non-guard in the top 20. If anyone has any doubts about picking him for the MVP award for the second time in a row and fourth in five years, remember two things: This isn’t the Oscars, and you shouldn’t be giving out awards to people just because they haven’t won it yet or someone has been named “the best” a few too many times. The second thing to remember is that LeBron James has been the only player to win the Eastern Conference player of the month award this season.
Since he won it for the first time in November 2004, James has been getting this award at least once each season, and usually much more. He won it twice in 2004-2005, twice in 2005-2006, twice in 2007-2008, four times in the 2008-2009 season, when he won his first MVP award, four consecutive times to open the season in 2009-2010, his second MVP season, two more times in 2010-2011, his first with the Miami Heat, and a year in which he was kinda robbed of the MVP award by the voters, who were carried away by the “hate” LeBron James thing, giving it to Derrick Rose. No matter, James had his revenge in the postseason.
Where were we? Oh, 2011-2012, the year of the redemption, when he stopped being a villain, won the NBA title, reclaimed the MVP award and people forgot just why they hated him so much. He won the Eastern Conference player of the month award twice in the shortened season. This year? As we’ve mentioned, it’s been only him in the East – 29.7 points with 7.5 rebounds and 7.8 assists in February; 27 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.2 assists in January; 27.5 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.5 assists in December; “only” 24.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 6.8 assists in November, taking it slow early in the season.
March might be the month that ruins his streak, so far averaging 23.6 points as the Heat continue to roll over anyone standing in their way. Kevin Durant? He’s a great scorer, and he has improved his all-around game, but he won the player of the month award only once this season, and when the two players have met (two Heat wins), it was clear to see who was the reigning MVP, and who was merely aspiring to be one.