LeBron had won the award four times in the five seasons prior to this one, while Durant has won the scoring title four times in the past five seasons.
KD totalled 1,232 votes (119 first place votes) with James in second place with 891 votes and just six first place votes. The Los Angeles Clippers' Blake Griffin (434 points), the Chicago Bulls' Joakim Noah (322 points), and the Houston Rockets' James Harden (85 points) rounded out the top 5 in voting. Of that group, only Griffin received as much as one second place vote, which in turn gave LeBron his only third-place vote, indicating that this was indeed a two-man race to the trophy.
HeatBeat) May 6, 2014
The voting panel consisted of 124 sportswriters and broadcasters, in addition a fan vote on NBA.com was counted as one actual ballot. Fans voted for Durant, follow again by LeBron along with Griffin, Noah and then Paul George. Players were awarded 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for each second-place vote, five for each third-place vote, three for each fourth-place vote and one for each fifth-place vote received.
"If the reports are correct, kudos to him." LeBron said to reporters after Monday's practice and before the NBA's official announcement. "Much respect to him. He deserved it. He had a big-time MVP season."
But that's not the hardware LeBron is trying to attain at the present time anyway, and that should be more than enough for motivation when the Miami Heat finally return to action tonight against the Brooklyn Nets in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. But just in case there's any doubt we won't see an inspired LeBron tonight, Chris Bosh tells the NY Daily News that it could fuel the former MVP even more.
"It's extra motivation if you're looking for some," he said. "We never want to make it a big thing, the MVP, but he feels that, ‘Hey, that's my trophy.'"
Not to worry, the NBA Finals MVP trophy is still LeBron's to defend to the very end of this postseason run, one way or another.