James set to claim 3rd MVP trophy

MIAMI Heat forward LeBron James will be named as the NBA’s MVP for a third time in four years this weekend according to reports.

Only seven other players – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Moses Malone – have at least three MVP trophies.

Abdul-Jabbar won the MVP six times, Jordan and Russell five times each, Chamberlain four times. After this weekend, they’ll be the only players with more than James.

James won the award twice while playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2008-09 and 2009-10.

After losing the MVP trophy to Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls last season, James reclaimed it with averages of 27.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists, making him only the fourth player with those totals in at least two different seasons, according to STATS LLC, joining Oscar Robertson (five times), John Havlicek (twice) and Bird (twice).

Add James’ 53 percent shooting and 1.9 steals per game into the mix, and the club gets even more exclusive. Only Jordan had a season with numbers exceeding what James did this season in those categories – 1988-89, when he averaged 32.5 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and 2.9 steals on 54 percent shooting.

And Jordan wasn’t even the MVP that year, the trophy going to Johnson instead.

James will be the first Heat to win the award.

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