It was no surprise at all. LeBron James won the MVP Award back in February, but it was confirmed today.
This is James' fourth MVP Award (2007-08, 2008-09, 2011-12, 2012-13) and his second straight with the Heat. James joins the company of Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Wilt Chamberlain to win at least four MVPs.
This season, LeBron has taken his game to heights that we haven't thought he could before. He set career highs in rebounds (8.0), field goal percentage (56.5%), 3-Pt percentage (40.6%) and career low 1.4 fouls per game. James also averaged 26.8 PPG, 7.3 APG, and 1.7 SPG. During the season, LeBron led the Heat to a 27 game win streak, a franchise record 66 wins, and he also set an NBA record by scoring 30+ points on 60% FG in six consecutive games.
"He's earned it," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said after Friday's practice. "He's having an even more historic season than he's had the last two years. Most people probably didn't think he could go to a higher level after last season, yet he reinvented himself to show that he could. Our pinch-ourselves moment was when we signed him. But since we've had him, we don't take him for granted."
At age 28, LeBron will be the youngest player to have 4 MVPs.
In 2010-11, Derrick Rose won the MVP Award in James' first season with the Heat. Most people feel as though James would never win again after signing with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. And despite beating Rose and the Bulls in the playoffs that same season, James had to work to change the perception. Rose won the award, largely because many people thought he carried the Bulls and without him they would be nothing. Granted, the Bulls had the best record in the conference, but as we have seen this year, even with a less stellar team, the Bulls did just fine without him, finishing fifth in the conference.
LeBron James, if it were not for the hatred that he received his first year with Miami, could be looking at his fifth consecutive MVP. But that's in the past. And we could also make the argument that Dwyane Wade deserved one of those MVPs.
Now, LeBron knows that this is not the only trophy he wants this year. The Heat will open the second round on Monday night where James's will be presented the trophy before the game by NBA Commissioner David Stern. There are also plans for a presentation inside American Airlines Arena on Sunday where James will have his press conference and presented with the trophy.
For now, it's just another example of the incredible run the Miami Heat are on. James will be recognized, but it is not the culmination of what this season is about. The Heat are focused on a championship. But, the true question that everyone is really wondering is: Can LeBron James get even better? I don't know if we know the answer to that yet.
Next up could be Erik Spoelstra who is in the running for Coach of the Year, yet to be announced.
Don't forget to come back to Hot Hot Hoops for more in depth coverage of the Heat and LeBron's run at history.