Ranking LeBron James' MVP Season with Best Since 2000

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Ranking LeBron James' MVP Season with Best Since 2000
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
LeBron James is about to renew acquaintances with an old friend.

This is becoming a regularly scheduled event.

For the second straight year, the Miami Heat are hosting a celebration the day prior to the start of their second-round series. 

It is a celebration of the dominance of LeBron James.

The worst-kept secret got out a couple of days earlier (per Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel): James is winning his fourth regular-season MVP trophy in five years. While the race between himself and Kevin Durant was relatively close early, James pulled away during the course of the Heat's 27-game winning streak, when he took his efficiency to even greater heights.

Now he's tied with Wilt Chamberlain and behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six) and Michael Jordan and Bill Russell (four) in all-time MVPs.

And he's just 28. 

“I don’t know my ceiling," James said. "I don’t stop trying to improve my game."

And so, even after he romped to the MVP in 2011-12, and after he won an NBA championship and the NBA Finals MVP, and after he won the Olympic gold medal, James turned in his strongest season, one that included his rather ridiculous 56.5 shooting from the field, a number he had never previously approached. 

It was one of the greatest seasons in recent NBA history.

Where does it rank this century? 

Well, for the purposes of this conversation, let's eliminate his MVP wins in 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2011-12 from consideration. And let's also reduce all the other stars to one "submission," which eliminates one of the Steve Nash and one of the Tim Duncan MVPs.

Which five seasons most stand out?

(All quotes for this piece were collected through the course of the author's coverage of the Miami Heat for the Palm Beach Post.)

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