In what was an obvious choice for all those who view basketball objectively (of which there are very few of us left), LeBron James was named the NBA MVP for the 2011/2012 season.
James joins the most decorated list of basketball personnel imaginable, all of whom boast three or more of the game’s highest individual award.
Kareem Abdul Jabbar (6), Michael Jordan and Bill Russell(5), Wilt Chamberlain (4), Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Moses Malone (3).
Add to that list LeBron James.
Kevin Durant and Tony Parker were two individuals believed to pose the biggest threat to James’ award, but it seems the writers, coaches, players and officials that held such disdain towards James for exercising a right have gotten over their petty injustices and have awarded the game’s best with the title that should be bestowed upon him every season.
Few will admit it but James was robbed of the title last season. Derrick Rose appeared as the darling of the league, taking the place of James and was wrongly rated as one of, if not the best player in the game. A year along from that it’s clear to all he isn’t even the best at his position, barely in the top 3 if indeed he is at all.
Following his decision to join the Miami Heat, James admitted that he was saying goodbye to individual awards such as the MVP and likely giving up numbers that would have seen him eclipse even the greatest in particular categories. It takes a special talent to be a clear MVP, even on a team shared with two other top 15 talents, but LeBron is certainly that.
He is the first MVP in the history of the Miami Heat franchise.
James sits clearly above all active players with MVP awards, and he could and probably should sit even with Chamberlain, if not Michael Jordan, as it currently stands. Even Skip Bayless would find it hard to say he will not add another couple before his time is over. But MVP awards are irrelevant at this point in his career. He has achieved almost as much as anyone in history has in the regular season. It is now time for him to add hardware of a different kind.
As it stands, James is the only member of that hugely exclusive list that does not have a championship ring. His demeanour thus far this post season has suggested he is more focused on changing that than ever before.
He is 12 wins away from doing so.