LeBron James Is the 2009 NBA MVP: But Let's Leave History out of This

Nick Gelso@CLNS_NickCorrespondent IMay 16, 2009

ATLANTA - MAY 11:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers walks off the court after a win over the Atlanta Hawks 84-74 in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on May 11, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  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 Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

No one can deny that LeBron James is one of the most talented superstars in the NBA. No one should diminish the milestones he has achieved.

At 24 years of age, LeBron has already been selected All-NBA (first or second team) and as an NBA All Star every season since entering the league.

He is a two time NBA All-Star game MVP and was NBA Rookie of the Year.

Now add to his achievements the 2009 NBA Most Valuable Player Award.

No one should deny that LeBron James will define this generation of NBA players but why does the NBA and sports media have to continually declare LeBron's every move as historic?

In my opinion, this denigrates all the legends that came before LeBron.

Let's take Michael Jordan, for example. Jordan entered the league in the 1984-1985 season. Jordan won his first league MVP award in 1988 at the age of 25. By that time he was already an Olympic Gold Medalist, NBA Rookie of the Year, All NBA first team each year, Defensive Player of the Year (1988), selected All NBA Defensive First Team, selected as an NBA All Star each season and as the NBA All-Star game MVP (1988).

In 1988 Michael Jordan won the NBA League MVP, All-Star Game MVP and The NBA Defensive Player of the Year Awards. Now that is historic domination—at the tender age of 25! The only thing that would be lacking from Jordan's resume was an NBA title.

As we all know, Jordan won championships—six titles to be exact!

Was Michael Jordan's five regular-season MVPs less historic then LeBron winning today? How about Kareem Abdul-Jabar's six league trophies?

Bird won the award three consecutive times. Magic won it twice consecutively.

Combined, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan won the MVP award every season from 1984 through 1992. Between them they won 14 NBA titles.

Let's not forget the league's original historic rivals, Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain.

Russell won the award five times (three consecutively), Chamberain was a four-time league MVP (three consecutively). They won 13 titles between them.

Those six legends that so dearly define NBA history account for 26 league MVPs of the 53 trophies that were awarded since 1956. Abdul-Jabar, Chamberlain, Bird, Johnson, Jordan and Russell have won 50 percent of the leagues awarded MVP trophies and none of them have suited up since 2001. These are the true members of the league's "Historic Club".

LeBron, congrats on a well deserved Most Valuable Player Award—but it looks like you have some catching up to do before entering this elite and "historic" class.

Please put away your "imaginary camera" tonight and play some "Magical" basketball, Amaze us with your "Wilt-like" strength and "Bird-like" fundamentals, Make the spectacular plays like "Air-Jordan" and lead your team to a championship while taking home the only MVP award that really counts—the Bill Russell Most Valuable Player Award.

Most importantly, remind us of why we love this game. That's what they did so well. That's whythey are a part of our lives and that's why they are a part of American sports history.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.