NBA MVP 2013: Breaking Down LeBron James' Epic Season

Alex KayCorrespondent IMay 5, 2013

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 21:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat reacts to a play during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at against the Milwaukee BucksAmerican Airlines Arena on April 21, 2013 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Days after the Miami Heat bounced the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs, the league finally announced that LeBron James has been named the MVP of the 2012-13 campaign.

The Heat confirmed the news on their Instagram account:

While there had been some excellent contributions from Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and other elite players, no player came anywhere close to producing the epic regular season that King James did.

If LeBron were somehow not picked as the Most Valuable Player, it would have ranked among the biggest debacles and worst snubs in the long history of the league.

The Heat star’s statistics were out of this world and looked even better than his numbers from last year, when he was named MVP for the third time in his career. Many thought it would be tough to best that stellar showing from the 2011-12 lockout-shortened season, but James managed to improve drastically in key areas. 

Over the course of 76 games during 2012-13 campaign, James averaged 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 0.9 blocks in 37.9 minutes of play.

He shot an outstanding 56.5 percent from the field and carefully selected his three-point tries, knocking down a marksman-like 40.6 percent from long-range.

Those figures don’t even begin to tell the whole story, either, as LBJ made impressive strides as a defender and was even the Defensive Player of the Year runner-up for his efforts.

His intensity, vocal leadership, quick rotations, weak-side assistance, shot-blocking capabilities, ability to bait the opposition into throwing lazy passes that wind up as steals, versatility to guard all different types of players and more have made James one of the most feared defensive presences in the entire NBA.

He finished behind Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies in the DPOY voting and clearly wasn't happy about the results. James told Ethan J. Skolnick of The Palm Beach Post that this was his finest season defensively and felt he deserved more recognition for his unique efforts on that end of the court

I mean, I guard everybody on the floor. I don’t know if there’s one player in NBA history who’s guarded one through five (positions). It’s over with now, but that’s cool.

If it weren’t for James’ defensive improvements this season, the Heat would have never gone on the 27-game winning streak that helped lock up the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs and had them (66-16) finish six games ahead of the next closest team in the standings (Oklahoma City Thunder, 60-22).

That record was just icing on LBJ’s MVP cake, and it’s no surprise at all that the 10-year veteran has just claimed his fourth Maurice Podoloff Trophy.

Next up for the superstar is defending the Miami Heat's championship and earning another NBA Finals MVP—the only personal award that matters more.