LeBron James, according to those sources that always foresee the future, will win the 2011-2012 NBA MVP award for the regular season, the third time he has won the award. This makes him the 8th player in NBA history to win the award three times or more, and don’t expect this to be the last time with his name on the Maurice Podoloff trophy.
Yes, he still belong to the Yes-MVP, No-title club. It doesn’t change the fact that he’s the best player in the league for the past four seasons, missing out on the award last year just because of it being trendy to diss LeBron. Derrick Rose was amazing through 2010-2011, also joining LeBron’s infamous club, but he wasn’t a better player. Just in a better situation.
This year, James was once against the best player. That’s the MVP award, or that’s what it is supposed to be about. Not the best player on the best team; Not the most important player to his team with relativity connections and comparisons between the franchises. Simply, the best player.
These aren’t the Oscars. This isn’t a sympathy award, given out to someone who’s been in the league for a long time and deserves to win. It shouldn’t be that way. It isn’t a popularity contest, and as much as many people backed Kevin Durant to win the award, he’ll have to settle once again for the scoring title, his third. A great player, a great scorer, but he’s not LeBron James.
James averaged 27.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.9 steals per game, playing 37.5 minutes in 62 games this season. Many thought he deserved to win the Defensive player of the year award as well, which eventually went to Chandler.
No one would be mistaken to put Durant in any All-NBA defensive teams. Defense, and not only numbers, which LeBron is the best in the league in producing them for what seems like forever now, goes into MVP calculations as well. The last player to win the double was Hakeem Olajuwon in 1994. Right now it’s hard to see any big man in the league being that good as deserving to win both awards. No, I’m willing to put money on Dwight Howard never winning the NBA MVP.
Regardless of what will happen in the postseason, don’t except LeBron to stop at three MVP awards. When Scottie Pippen spoke about LeBron James and Michael Jordan, he wasn’t that off the truth. There’s no one quite like Jordan, but I don’t think there has ever been someone with LeBron’s combination of physical supremacy, speed and skills. If he hasn’t yet made the most of his god given talents, that’s a different story and question. But it’s hard to argue about talent.
James is only 27, in the prime of his career. There’s no reason to expect any different from him in the next few years. He doesn’t look to be with any intentions of slowing down. You never know where the league will go and what player will emerge as a dominant one. Durant keeps improving, and it’s he’ll be putting up more and more of a fight for this award with each passing year. Chris Paul isn’t too far from winning one as well.
But this is the LeBron James era in the NBA, despite it also being a point guard league at this moment. He’s just that good, that popular, that newsworthy. Hopefully, for him and his legacy, he’ll finally be able to put everything together for a full postseason, along with enjoying enough help from his teammates, and add an NBA title to his growing MVP column.