Skip to main content
Summer League 2014
Main content
NBA news

James wins 4th Kia MVP award in near unanimous vote


Posted May 6, 2013 8:08 AM

MIAMI (AP) -- LeBron James was at his best this season, and the voters tasked with selecting the NBA's Most Valuable Player took notice.

Every voter except one, that is.

The NBA still does not have a unanimous MVP, though no one has come closer than James did this season. The Miami Heat star was presented with the Maurice Podoloff Trophy for the fourth time in his career on Sunday after collecting 120 of the 121 first-place votes, with Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks picking up the lone remaining top choice.

"It was probably a writer out of New York that didn't give me that vote," James said. "And we know the history between the Heat and the Knicks, so I get it."

A panel of 120 sports writers and broadcasters cast ballots in the NBA MVP voting, with a combined online fan vote also being taken into account.

Shaquille O'Neal got every first-place vote but one in the 1999-2000 season, when one person cast his ballot for Allen Iverson - who finished seventh that year. This season, Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder finished second, well ahead of Anthony, who was third and didn't even appear on nine of the ballots cast. James was the only player listed on all 121 ballots; Durant was omitted from two, according to the results released by the NBA.

"I'll take that vote," Anthony said, adding that James was a deserving winner.

For months, there really had only been two questions about this season's MVP race: When will James get the award, and would the results be unanimous? The first of those answers became known Friday, the other on Sunday, and even as he was on the dais to pick up the award the now-four-time MVP quickly started steering all of his attention back to the goal of helping the Heat win a second straight title.

Miami hosts Chicago in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Monday night, when NBA Commissioner David Stern will present James with the trophy, largely just for the benefit of giving Heat fans a pregame reason to cheer.

"My ultimate goal is to win an NBA championship," James said. "That's what I was brought here for. That's why I signed here as a free agent in 2010. It wasn't to win MVP trophies. It was to win a championship - and win multiple championships - and that's still my No. 1 priority."

James averaged 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.3 assists this season, leading Miami to a league-best 66-16 record while shooting a career-high 56 percent. Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six), Michael Jordan (five), Bill Russell (five) and Wilt Chamberlain (four) have as many MVP awards, only Russell won four in a five-year span, and only Abdul-Jabbar went back-to-back twice, like James did with trophies in 2009 and 2010 and now again in 2012 and 2013.

Sunday's ceremony was filled with tributes and even some laughs, like when James' younger son Bryce posed for photographers on stage while his father was speaking and older brother LeBron Jr. looked on - and when James' fiancee, Savannah Brinson, appeared on a congratulatory video and called him "Honeybunny."

"I know you're embarrassed when I call you that," Brinson said. "But whatever."

Over on the far side of the dais, set up on the floor of the Heat home court, James' teammates roared in hysterics - and Udonis Haslem made sure James knew that they were talking about Brinson's pet name for her future husband. The 14 other Heat players were dressed casually in team garb, while James donned a dapper suit for the festivities.

As he did on Saturday, a day after it became widely known that the award would be his again, James thanked his teammates.

"I'd rather be sitting over there in shorts and a T-shirt, wondering what the hell they're joking about, because I want to be a part of that joke," James said. "And I hate being out of all the jokes. I want to know what was happening, OK, guys? I would much rather be with my guys over there because that's what it's all about. Without those guys, this trophy is not possible."

2012-13 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award Results
Player, Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Total Points
LeBron James, Miami 120 1 - - - 1,207
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City - 93 21 2 3 765
Carmelo Anthony, New York 1 16 51 27 17 475
Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers - 2 27 39 23 289
Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers - 4 12 23 27 184
Tony Parker, San Antonio - 2 7 8 13 86
Tim Duncan, San Antonio - 2 1 12 10 65
James Harden, Houston - - - 7 12 33
Russell Westbrook, OKC - - - 1 6 9
Dwyane Wade, Miami - - 1 - - 5
Stephen Curry, Golden State - - - - 3 3
Kevin Garnett, Boston - - - - 1 1
David Lee, Golden State - - - - 1 1
Ty Lawson, Denver - - - - 1 1
Marc Gasol, Memphis - - - - 1 1
Joakim Noah, Chicago - - - - 1 1

Much of the ceremony was tinged with emotion.

Brinson's mother dabbed tears away from her eyes when James thanked his soon-to-be in-laws for what they do for his family. Dwyane Wade (who was 10th in the voting) spoke in a hushed tone on the video, with soft music playing in the background as he told James to "continue to lead this team because we believe in you, so congratulations, Mr. MVP." James seemed genuinely touched when dozens of students who are part of his "I Promise" educational program chanted for him when the proceedings were complete.

"And all the ones that I've observed and I've watched and I've seen, somewhere they've always gotten better," said Heat President Pat Riley, talking about all the game's stars that he's witnessed in his 46 NBA years. "They always got better as their career advanced. And most importantly, they've always made their teammates and their team better. In my humble opinion ... I think the man that we're looking at right here is the best of all of them."

James was the only player in the NBA to lead his team in scoring, rebounding and assists per game this season, had a record six straight games of scoring at least 30 points while shooting at least 60 percent, became the youngest player in league history to break the 20,000-career-point plateau and won five of the six Eastern Conference player of the month awards.

James is now the second player in NBA history to post at least 2,000 points, 600 rebounds, 500 assists and 100 steals in a season twice, joining Larry Bird, who did it three times. The only other player to do it once was Jordan.

"Four now," Heat managing general partner Micky Arison said. "And more to come."

ALL-TIME KIA NBA MOST VALUABLE PLAYER AWARD WINNERS
Season - Player, Team
1955-56 - Bob Pettit, St. Louis
1956-57 - Bob Cousy, Boston
1957-58 - Bill Russell, Boston
1958-59 - Bob Pettit, St. Louis
1959-60 - Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia
1960-61 - Bill Russell, Boston
1961-62 - Bill Russell, Boston
1962-63 - Bill Russell, Boston
1963-64 - Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati
1964-65 - Bill Russell, Boston
1965-66 - Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia
1966-67 - Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia
1967-68 - Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia
1968-69 - Wes Unseld, Baltimore
1969-70 - Willis Reed, New York
1970-71 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Milwaukee
1971-72 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Milwaukee
1972-73 - Dave Cowens, Boston
1973-74 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Milwaukee
1974-75 - Bob McAdoo, Buffalo
1975-76 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Los Angeles
1976-77 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Los Angeles
1977-78 - Bill Walton, Portland
1978-79 - Moses Malone, Houston
1979-80 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Los Angeles
1980-81 - Julius Erving, Philadelphia
1981-82 - Moses Malone, Houston
1982-83 - Moses Malone, Philadelphia
1983-84 - Larry Bird, Boston
1984-85 - Larry Bird, Boston
1985-86 - Larry Bird, Boston
1986-87 - Magic Johnson, L.A. Lakers
1987-88 - Michael Jordan, Chicago
1988-89 - Magic Johnson, L.A. Lakers
1989-90 - Magic Johnson, L.A. Lakers
1990-91 - Michael Jordan, Chicago
1991-92 - Michael Jordan, Chicago
1992-93 - Charles Barkley, Phoenix
1993-94 - Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston
1994-95 - David Robinson, San Antonio
1995-96 - Michael Jordan, Chicago
1996-97 - Karl Malone, Utah
1997-98 - Michael Jordan, Chicago
1998-99 - Karl Malone, Utah
1999-00 - Shaquille O'Neal, L.A. Lakers
2000-01 - Allen Iverson, Philadelphia
2001-02 - Tim Duncan, San Antonio
2002-03 - Tim Duncan, San Antonio
2003-04 - Kevin Garnett, Minnesota
2004-05 - Steve Nash, Phoenix
2005-06 - Steve Nash, Phoenix
2006-07 - Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas
2007-08 - Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers
2008-09 - LeBron James, Cleveland
2009-10 - LeBron James, Cleveland
2010-11 - Derrick Rose, Chicago
2011-12 - LeBron James, Miami
2012-13 - LeBron James, Miami

SEARCH NEWS
LATEST VIDEOS
photoDaily Zap: July 13
Catch highlights from all of Sunday's action in one place.
photoTop 10: July 13
Count down the Top 10 plays from Sunday's action.
photoThe Starters: Change This Face Game
The Starters and Alexey Shved play everyone's favorite game, "Change This Face."
photoThe Starters: Alexey Shved
Alexey Shved stops by to chat with The Starters.
photoThe Starters: News and Notes
The Starters go over the latest trades and signings from around the NBA.