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LeBron James Video: Watch King James Accept 2012 NBA MVP

Nicholas Goss@@NicholasGoss35Correspondent IMay 12, 2012

Miami Heat forward LeBron James was awarded his third NBA Most Valuable Player award on Friday, becoming the eighth player in league history to win the award three or more times.

He is also the first Heat player to ever win the award.

Per ESPN.com:

"I think LeBron is an MVP candidate every year," Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers said last month. "It's just who he is. He only does everything. So I don't know what more you can ask from him."

"LeBron, to me, is the favorite every year. The years he doesn't win it, it'll usually be because people are just tired of voting for him. Statistically, if you go all-around game, I don't know how you don't vote for him every year."

Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Moses Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and Bill Russell are the only other players to win three or more MVP awards. The last two players to win the MVP three times in a four-year span like James has were Magic Johnson (1987-90) and Larry Bird (1984-86).

Say what you want about James, but he was fully deserving of the award this year. A strong case could have been made for Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, but James was certainly a worthy recipient.

Winning MVP awards is a great accomplishment for James, but like all great players, his legacy will be defined by the championship rings on his fingers and not the MVP awards in his trophy case at home.

James' stats this season were unreal. Take a look at how they matched up with some of the greatest NBA players ever, via ESPN:

James averaged 27.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists—making him only the fourth player with those totals in at least two seasons, according to STATS LLC, joining Oscar Robertson (five times), John Havlicek (twice) and Bird (twice).

Next year, James could become the first player ever to win four MVP awards in a five-year span.

Nick Goss is an NBA Columnist at Bleacher Report.

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