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Michael Jordan was no stranger to the NBA MVP award, and neither is LeBron James.
Through the first nine seasons of his career, James has taken home three league MVP awards, the same as Jordan through his first nine.
Much like the previously noted piece of history these two athletes share, this is no easy accomplishment.
While such attainment clearly speaks to the statistical prowess of both men, it goes beyond numbers and into the realm of intangibles.
James' MVP awards validate his importance as a teammate, as a franchise backbone and as a leader; none of Jordan's teams could have gotten where they were without him, and the same can now be said for James.
Prior to this season, despite owning two league MVPs, James' ability to distinguish himself in Miami was questioned. He may have been the seldom-disputed crowning NBA athlete, but how valuable could he possibly be to a team that boasted the likes of All-Stars Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade as well?
It turns out very.
In Cleveland, James' MVP campaigns were impressive, but his latest recognition was more Jordan-esque than his other two. No, Jordan was never part of as polarizing a triumvirate as James, but his supporting cast was prolific in its own right.
For James, being deemed the league MVP while playing alongside Bosh and Wade speaks a whole lot more to his value than when it came next to Mo Williams or Shaquille O'Neal.
Distinguishing oneself against the best is difficult, but distinguishing oneself alongside some of the best is even more so. But Jordan did it, and now James has too.