LeBron James' 4 NBA MVPs as It Compares to Michael Jordan & Other 4-Time MVPs

Peter Emerick@@peteremerickSenior Writer IIMay 6, 2013

May 5, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James smiles before receiving his fourth MVP award at the American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Every accolade and honor LeBron James adds to his legacy is one step closer to solidifying himself as the "greatest of all time" or "G.O.A.T" as they call it.

Right now, LeBron stands in the company of only Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players to win four or more NBA MVP awards.

He also joins Bill Russell as the only player in the league's history to win four MVPs in a five-year span.

While LeBron is in truly elite company, his dominance doesn't come into full perspective until you take a closer look at his numbers during his four MVP years.

2008-09 MVP Season—28.4 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 7.2 APG, 1.7 STLPG, 1.1 BLKPG, 48.9 FG%, 34.4 3PFG%

2009-10 MVP Season—29.7 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 8.6 APG, 1.6 STLPG, 1.0 BLKPG, 50.3 FG%, 33.3 3PFG%

2011-12 MVP Season—27.1 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 6.2 APG, 1.9 STLPG, 0.8 BLKPG, 53.1 FG%, 36.2 3PFG%

2012-13 MVP Season—26.8 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 7.3 APG, 1.7 STLPG, 0.9 BLKPG, 56.5 FG%, 40.6 3PFG%

That gives LeBron averages of 28.0 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 7.3 APG, 1.7 STLPG, 0.95 BLKPG, 52.5 FG%, 36.1 3PFG% over the span of his four MVP seasons.

While LeBron has made it look simple, there's no doubt that kind of well-balanced production is absolutely legendary. It looks even more impressive when you compare it to the four-year averages of the other four-time MVP award winners. 

LeBron James (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013)—28.0 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 7.3 APG, 1.7 STLPG, 0.95 BLKPG, 52.5 FG%, 36.1 3PFG%

Michael Jordan (1988, 1991, 1992, 1996)—31.8 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 5.5 APG, 2.6 STLPG, 1.0 BLKPG, 52.2 FG%, 28.5 3PFG%

Bill Russell (1958, 1961,1962,1963)—17.3 PPG, 23.5 RPG, 3.9 APG, 43.9 FG% (Steals and Blocks were not recorded)

Wilt Chamberlain (1960, 1966, 1967, 1968)—29.9 PPG, 26.2 RPG, 5.9 APG, 56.9 FG% ( Steals and Blocks were not recorded)

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1971, 1972, 1974, 1976)—30.3 PPG, 16.0 RPG, 4.4 APG, 1.5 STLPG, 3.8 BLKPG, 55.5 FG% (Steals and Blocks calculated during 1974 and 1976 only)

Those are a lot of statistics to digest, but the main focus of them is simply showing that LeBron is worthy of being in the same category as guys like Jordan, Chamberlain, Abdul-Jabbar and Russell. 

He's capable of being in that category because of his insane ability to control games in nearly every facet of the game. 

When you focus on the LeBron and Jordan comparison, which is the most realistic comparison based on position and role, it's clear that they are both on the same level.

Jordan scored more and was a better defensive player, but LeBron is more well-rounded and shoots the ball at a slightly higher clip from the floor and has a significantly higher shooting percentage from beyond the arc.

Another stat that puts LeBron's fourth MVP into perspective is how many players won titles during their first four MVPs.

Abdul-Jabbar and Chamberlain each won just one NBA title during their first four MVP seasons. 

Jordan and Russell each won three titles, and if LeBron wins his second title this season, that will put him one step closer to reaching Jordan and Russell's level of dominance.

LeBron has an incredible opportunity this season to add one more historic accomplishment to his laundry list of accolades, and that's an opportunity that he's not going to let slip away easily.