Only a handful of guys have a shot at the NBA MVP award, though their respective paths will vary by circumstance.
In this league more than any other, the Most Valuable Players hold a rarified place in history.
Other sports have given their prizes to flukes and one-season wonders. Every NBA winner before 1999-00 is already in the Hall of Fame. After that, from Shaquille O'Neal to LeBron James, everyone is a superstar and a lock for Springfield as well; only Derrick Rose's health threatens to break the streak.
James has won each of the last two and four of the last five awards, but as the competition toughens around him, there is no guarantee he'll get another in 2013-14. He's the prohibitive favorite, but don't discount the contenders.