LeBron James: Can He Match Magic Johnson's MVP Total?

Mike B.Correspondent INovember 5, 2011

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 02:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat reacts in the fourth quarter while taking on the Dallas Mavericks in Game Two of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena on June 2, 2011 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

Earvin "Magic" Johnson enjoyed a fantastic 13-season career in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The 12-time All-Star teamed with big man Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to lead the famous franchise to five championships in the 1980s during quite possibly the greatest decade in league history.

Johnson also won a combined eight Most Valuable Player awards during his playing days—three in the NBA Finals, three in the regular season and two as an All-Star.

Because of his superb ball handling and passing abilities, current Miami Heat forward LeBron James has often drawn comparisons to Johnson.

James, who has eight pro seasons under his belt, is yet to win his first NBA championship ring, though, as every basketball fan knows. So, with that said, it may be a bit far-fetched to believe he can someday win five like Johnson did.

James may never tie Johnson when it comes to titles, but he does have a chance to eventually match him in MVP awards. 

As far as NBA Finals MVPs go, the 26-year-old James very well could equal Johnson's total of three, although it will be an extremely difficult task.  

The Heat are undoubtedly one of the top teams in the league right now. If management can somehow surround the All-Star trio of James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh with the right role players, it wouldn't be very surprising at all if the team eventually pulled off three championships.     

If Miami does end up capturing three titles, will James manage to win Finals MVP each time over his fellow high-scoring teammate Wade (who won the honor back in 2006)?


Other than Johnson, only three players in NBA history have ever won the award at least three times: Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan and Shaquille O'Neal. Even Kobe Bryant, arguably the best player in the game today, has yet to win it three times (notching the NBA Finals MVP Award named after Bill Russell twice).

Sure, James was highly criticized for his poor performance in the Finals this past June against Dallas, especially in the fourth quarter. But hey, every ball player has bad games, no matter who you are. God didn't make anybody perfect, right?

Don't be surprised to see James end up redeeming himself by leading the Heat to at least three titles and picking up three Finals MVP awards in the process, even if he has to share the scoring load with a gifted swingman like D-Wade.  

When it comes to regular season MVPs, James just might end up matching Johnson's total of three. He already won the award twice—2009 and 2010—back when he was the franchise player for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

James would have had a realistic shot at being named MVP last year, if it wasn't for the outstanding play of Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, who basically ran away with the award after carrying his team to the Eastern Conference's best regular season record. 

Barring injury, James has probably another has another 10 years or so of basketball left in him, so he has enough time to obtain that third MVP.

He's already tied with Johnson in terms of All-Star MVPs with two, and he'll probably win another one before his career comes to an end.  

Many fans across the world refer to James as a loser. People feel that he simply lacks the heart of a champion. But if he can somehow come close to achieving what Johnson did, he will be considered great when it's all said and done.