When LeBron James held his ESPN press conference called “The Decision” and announced he was taking his talents to South Beach, he became an instant villain.
The same way if Bruce Springsteen wrote a song about hating New Jersey, James turned his back on his home when he left Cleveland for Miami. This is why it pains me to say I believe LeBron James will win his third Most Valuable Player Award in a row this season.
The reasons why he will do it are very clear:
Who else could it possibly be?
The competition is stiff for a league supposedly filled with superstars. It has almost already been predetermined that the MVP will go to LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, or Kevin Durant. Anthony has had major problems with teammates that may get in the way, Bryant is coming off a serious injury while playing for a collapsing franchise, and Durant is still a few years behind James as far as dominance goes. Someone may always surprise us, but expecting that is the same as expecting Charlotte to take home a championship.
What does he still have to prove?
Two straight championships, four total MVP awards, and destined for the Hall of Fame, James still has something to prove to the retractors of his “King James” nickname. James is a potential free agent after this season and a third straight MVP season would allow him to go anywhere he wants or bring in a new arsenal of teammates. James wants to get better. He wants there to be no argument who the best player in the league is. James is the villain and he hates playing that role. The only way he can delete this image of him being a traitor is to be the best in the world at what he does.
How is he a most valuable player?
Put LeBron James on nearly any other team in the NBA, and it automatically makes it to the playoffs. This is not a scientific fact, more of an obvious observation. James instantly increases a team’s chances at a parade down Main Street. James is different from other potential MVP candidates, like the ones known for never passing the ball. Overall, James is a team player and the most valuable one among them. Without him, the Miami Heat would be teetering on even making the playoffs let alone winning two championships in a row.
Who will help him?
Winning an MVP award in the NBA cannot be done by one man. An amazing player on a bad team is just the biggest fish in a small pond.
James still has Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in the supporting cast. Ray Allen returns for his second season and the offseason acquisition of the returning Michael Beasley should help. James needs a good team around him in order to succeed to his fullest potential. This was the most evident during his time playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers. James cannot put up his career average numbers if he wants his third MVP. With the team he has around him and how familiar they are with each other, LeBron James is likely to have career highs on his path to a third championship and MVP in a row.
What’s standing in his way?
The only thing stopping LeBron James from winning the MVP is LeBron James. A fluke injury or turning into a complete diva like many star athletes are accustomed to doing could render his chances at three straight MVPs improbable. James has matured a lot since coming to the Miami Heat and he is stronger than ever.
James has never been a selfish player, albeit in other ways he can be, and his unselfish play is why he succeeds. His goal is winning a championship and he knows that if he is the one taking the shots, the team has a better chance at winning. The more shots he takes, the more points he makes. The more points he makes, the better his team does. The better his team does, the more likely he is to win the MVP.