Why LeBron James Will Surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's Record 6 MVP Awards
LeBron James won the third regular season MVP trophy of his career for his dominant 2011-12 regular season, and at just 27 years old, he's already in elite company.
With only Moses Malone, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar having won at least three regular season MVPs, James now finds himself (once again) being compared to some of the greatest to ever play the game.
Because he's so young, James has a long, fruitful career ahead of him. James is going to be in the conversation every single season he's healthy. We've seen him absolutely dominate the competition on his way to winning the award for the third time, and it would be foolish to assume he's suddenly going to drop off of the radar.
So where does LeBron go from here?
As I've already previously written, LeBron's regular season MVP trophies won't do anything for his legacy. If he wants to be viewed as one of the greatest to ever step out onto the court, he's going to have to win at the highest level. Here's the thing: James knows it.
LeBron ends his MVP speech: "I want that championship. That's all that matters to me."— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) May 12, 2012
That's a wonderful quote from James.
It shows a side of him the public isn't familiar with and illustrates James' real desire to succeed on the largest stage. An incredibly gifted talent with the potential to be one of the best five players to ever play in the NBA, James has shown a new dynamic in his personality this season. He's less concerned with the public's perception of who he is and solely focused on playing the best basketball he possibly can.
If Miami doesn't win a title in 2012, James will be subjected to further scrutiny. His 2011-12 MVP trophy won't matter and he'll be (unfairly) criticized once again.
But when will it matter?
James is going to be the best all-around player in this league for a long time, so let's get used to it.
At 27 years old, LeBron is entering the prime of his career. With three awards to his name already, James has a legitimate chance to surpass Kareem Abdul Jabbar's mark of six MVPs.
Think about that. James could realistically finish his career with seven MVPs in his trophy case.
This is a unique player. There is no precedent for LeBron. The guy is unlike any other player we've seen in this league before, and he has the talent to dominate for an incredibly long stretch of time given how versatile his attack is at both ends of the floor.
He's going to receive MVP votes every season. Very clearly the most talented player playing the game today, even the personal vendettas against James (like him getting a fifth place vote in the MVP voting this season) won't slow him down.
This is a player who shifted the landscape of the league through free agency. This is a player who leaves us all saying "wow" multiple times in any given contest, and it's no longer a surprise when James does something that we never considered possible. There are no limitations on James' game, and it's been more evident this season than ever before.
James has committed himself to his craft, and it's going to be unbelievable to see him blossom right before our eyes.
If you think you've seen everything James has in his arsenal, think again. This guy is just getting started.
It's frightening to think what he's capable of doing in the future.
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