NEW YORK— The NBA made it official Sunday, announcing Miami Heat superstar LeBron James had earned Most Valuable Player honors for the second straight year and the fourth time in his career.
James’s victory in the voting had been widely reported since Friday, although when asked about it the player himself had urged reporters not to “jinx” him by jumping the gun.
James joins legends Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Russell as MVP award winners at least four times in their careers.
James’s four MVP trophies have come in the span of five seasons, a feat only previously accomplished by Russell, who won in 1961, 1962, 1963 and 1965.
“King James” averaged 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.0 blocked shots a game in 76 appearances this season, his 10th in the NBA.
He shot career bests of 56.5 percent from the field and 40.6 percent from 3-point range and finished second in NBA Defensive Player of the Year voting to Spanish big man Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies.
He led the Heat to the winningest season in team history at 66-16, including a 27-game win streak that ranks second on the all-time NBA win streak list to the 33-game run by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers.
His exploits saw him garner 120 first-place votes from a possible 121 which included a 120-member media panel and a fan poll conducted on NBA.com that counted for
James received a total of 1,207 points in the balloting, with Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant a distant second with 765 points and the New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony third with 475 points and one first-place vote.
The Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant rounded out the top five.
At 28, James is the youngest player in NBA history to win a fourth regular season MVP award. Abdul-Jabbar, a record six-time MVP award winner, won five by age 30.
The MVP is yet another honor in an incredible 12 months for James.
In that span, James has won last season’s MVP award, the NBA Finals MVP award for leading the Heat over Oklahoma City for the title last June and an Olympic gold medal in August with the US squad of NBA stars at the London Games.