LeBron James has won two straight NBA Most Valuable Player Awards, and has been the recipient of the award in three of the past four seasons.
Being that he is the best player on a team that has won back-to-back championships and is poised to win a third in a row, this hardware comes as no real surprise. While picking LeBron to win another MVP is an easy way out, he is by far the most logical choice.
The main reason LeBron will win the MVP yet again is that, as mentioned, he is the best player on the NBA’s best team. Sure, the Miami Heat have several other big name players, including Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, but neither are the star players they were before LeBron’s reign of MVP dominance began. Both have become complementary players to LeBron, the absolute star of the show in Miami.
Other complementary players on the team, such as Ray Allen and Shane Battier, benefit from LeBron because he is able to get them the ball when defenders are able to take the ball out of his hands. However, he can often just run right by them to get to the basket. That or he will just hit the outside shot. In fact, LeBron carried the team on his shoulders several times last season, leading them to victories purely on his own talent. There is no reason to believe this season will not be the same this season.
LeBron’s media day press conference on September 30 also offered plenty of reasons why he will win a third straight MVP Award. In his press conference, he stated that he is a better basketball player in every aspect than he was last season. For a player that is already the best in the game, this is a scary statement for other players who could be legitimate threats to deny LeBron a third straight MVP.
When asked about whether him, Wade, and Bosh are thinking about their possible opt-outs this summer (all three can opt out of their current contracts after July 1), he spoke for all of them, saying that it is not on any of their minds. However, what must be on LeBron’s mind is showing that the thought of leaving Miami for even more money is not going to be a distraction. As LeBron said in the press conference, it will not be a distraction because they are a veteran team and have the ability to not think about it.
However, the possibility that this could be the Big Three’s last season together should indeed bring motivation to win a third title in a row. Also speaking at the Media Day were Head Coach Erik Spoelstra and Dwayne Wade, who both stated they understand the team’s once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. So while the possibility of opting out and leaving Miami for a possible return to Cleveland or a stint in Los Angeles is not going to distract LeBron, the thought of winning one more title in Miami should certainly keep LeBron and his teammates motivated. In order for this to happen, LeBron is going to need to play at a MVP level again as the team’s best player.
One other motivator for LeBron is, of course, the chance to earn the title of the greatest player of all time. He understands that he is still far from the goal, but as he said at media day, “I see the light.”
Being the greatest of all time in his mind is LeBron’s motivation to continue improving, and winning a third straight MVP and fifth overall further adds to his resume. There are many, including myself, who will always consider Michael Jordan to be the greatest, but LeBron knows he is creeping more and more into the conversation. Winning a fifth MVP in this era of superstar players all around the league would tie LeBron with Jordan, bridging the gap even closer before LeBron even turns 30.
With his leadership and determination combined with the intangibles mentioned, there is not much reason to believe LeBron James will not win another MVP Award this season. LeBron was also fourth overall in scoring with 26.8 points per game and being among the leaders in minutes played (37.9) and assists (7.3) per game among forwards last season. He makes the Heat the team they are, and he is their best player. Put the statistics together with all the other factors, and that makes LeBron the safest choice and the most likely choice to win MVP this season.