Cleveland's LeBron James to Be Named NBA MVP

jonathan staub@JStaubSportTalkCorrespondent IMay 4, 2009

AUBURN HILLS, MI - APRIL 26:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers does his pre game ritual prior to playing the Detroit Pistons in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at the Palace of Auburn Hills on April 26, 2009 in Auburn Hills, Michigan. 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 Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

A month after Mike Brown was named NBA Coach of the Year, The Plain Dealer of Cleveland and the Associated Press are reporting that LeBron James will be named NBA MVP for the first time.

This will mark only the fourth time since the ABA/NBA merger that the Coach of the Year and MVP come from the same team; the most recent happening coming just a few seasons back in 2004-05 when Mike D’Antoni and Steve Nash of the Pheonix Suns won the awards.

Of the four tandems, only the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, who won an NBA record 72 games, went on to win the championship.

James, at 24 years and 106 days old, will become the youngest player since Moses Malone (24 years, 16 days) was named MVP in the 1978-79 season.

King James, who stands at a chiseled 6-foot-8, finished the season averaging 28.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game.

Starting in a career-high 81 games, James set personal bests in field goal (49) and free-throw (79) shooting percentages.

LeBron also became only the second player in NBA history to post five straight seasons of 27 points, six rebounds and six assists; the other player was Oscar Robertson, whose game draws the most comparisons to James'.

LeBron battled fellow gold-medal Olympic teammates Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade for MVP honors all year long.

After several outstanding campaigns, LeBron will finally have one of the pieces of hardware so many felt he has been destined to achieve; as his game continues to improve, as if that isn’t scary enough, LeBron could be just breaking the surface of a long reign over the NBA.

The ceremony will take place at James’ alma-mater, St. Vincent-St. Mary High School.

There is little surprise that LeBron selected his high school for the announcement. James won three state basketball championships there, became an SI cover story at 17, rose to national prominence and announced his decision to skip college at the school’s gym.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have called a news conference for 4 p.m. ET, but they have not specified the nature of the event.


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