As he prepares for his second round match-up with the Atlanta Hawks, it is expected to be announced later today that LeBron James has won this year's Most Valuable Player Award.
It's hard to argue that anyone means more to their team than LeBron James did this season. King James lead his team in a litany of categories including points, assists, rebounds, steals, blocks, and FG%.
Although he was already regarded as one of the best players in the game and maybe the most well rounded player since Oscar Robertson, LeBron improved his game in a number of areas this season that really thrust him into the ranking of the best player in the NBA.
Over the last few seasons it was often said that Kobe's defense set him apart from LeBron as the greatest player in the world. And while Kobe is still one of the best defenders, LeBron's energy and effort on defense were second to none this season. So much so that I have heard several NBA analysts throw LeBron's name into the discussion of Defensive Player of the Year.
Another facet of LeBron's game that had left much to be desired was his foul shooting, especially the last two seasons. This year, James raised his free throw shooting average 7%, to 78% compared to 71% and 69% the previous two seasons. Because LeBron is a threat to drive to the basket at any point from anywhere on the floor, free throws are an extremely important part of his game. King James' dedication to improve this part of his game really paid off.
With LeBron winning the MVP award at the tender age of 24, he has already established himself as one of the greatest players the world has ever seen. In many ways, he is ahead of the pace and bar set by the great Michael Jordan.
LeBron's career is far closer to the beginning than the end and its scary to think just how good this guy can be. We've already seen him carry a team on his back to the NBA finals and this year the pieces around him are real contributors, not just place holders on the court. If he is able to put together a number of Championship runs, we could be watching the greatest player to ever dribble a basketball.