CLEVELAND, OH - May 4, 2009 - Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James has been named the winner of the Maurice Podoloff Trophy as the 2008-09 NBA Most Valuable Player presented by Kia Motors, the NBA announced today.
James received a total of 1,172 points, including 109 first-place votes out of a possible 121, from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Players were awarded 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for each second-place vote, five points for each third-place, three points for each fourth-place vote, and one point for each fifth-place vote received.
James becomes the first player in Cavaliers franchise history to receive the award after leading the Cavaliers to an NBA and franchise-best 66-16 (.805) record. He averaged 28.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, 7.2 assists, 1.69 steals and a career-best 1.15 blocks in 37.7 minutes per game. The 6-foot-8 forward also posted career highs in games played (81), field goal percentage (.489) and free throw percentage (.780). He was the only player in the NBA to average at least 28.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game this season. Leading the Cavs in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks, James became just the fourth player since the 1973-74 season (when steals and blocks became official stats) to lead his team in each category.
James led the NBA in triple-doubles (7), points per game in road games (31.5) and combined points, rebounds and assists average (43.3). He ranked second in points per game (28.4) and total fourth quarter points (515), eighth in steals (1.69), ninth in assists (7.2), tied for 14th in double-doubles (29), 23rd in blocks (1.15) and 27th in rebounds (7.6).
At 24 years, 106 days old, James is the youngest player to win the award since Moses Malone (24 years, 16 days) in 1978-79 and his 474-point margin of victory is the sixth-largest in MVP voting history (media began voting 1980-81 season).
During the season, the Akron native was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week an NBA all-time best seven times and tied the league record for most Player of the Month wins with four (November, January, March and April). He was named an Eastern Conference All-Star starter for the fifth consecutive season and finished runner-up to Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard for NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
The 2008-09 NBA Most Valuable Player Award presented by Kia Motors is part of a series of on-court performance awards called “The NBA Performance Awards Presented by Kia Motors.” The series, currently in its second season, is a significant part of the multiyear marketing partnership between Kia Motors America and the NBA, and also includes the Most Improved Player, Sixth Man and Defensive Player of the Year Awards. It also includes the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month presented by Kia Motors which are awarded during the regular season. For more information on the “The NBA Performance Awards Presented by Kia Motors” visit www.NBA.com/performanceawards.
LEBRON JAMES’ SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
- Led the Cavaliers to an NBA and franchise-best 66-16 (.805) record and became just the 12th team in NBA history to win 66 or more games in a season. Also, helped Cleveland post a 39-2 (.951) record at The Q, which tied for the second-best home record in league history, and a 27-14 (.659) road record, which tied for the second-best road record in the league this season.
- Helped Cleveland improve its win total by 21 games from 2007-08 (45-37), tying the 1971-72 L.A. Lakers in NBA history for the second-largest improvement in wins of all teams that won at least 45 games in the previous season.
- Led Cleveland to 16 victories during March, tying the NBA all-time record for most victories in any month. Finished March with 479 points, 152 rebounds and 143 assists. The only other player in NBA history to reach each of those totals in one month is Oscar Robertson, who did it in eight separate months, most recently in January 1965.
- Became just the second player in NBA history to post five consecutive seasons of at least 27.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists (Oscar Robertson)
- Is the only player to average at least 27.0 points in each of the past five seasons
- Became the youngest player in NBA history to score 11,000 points (23 years, 324 days) and 12,000 points (24 years, 35 days) during the season
- Became the youngest (23 years, 308 days) and fastest (395 games) player to reach the following totals: 10,000 points, 2,500 rebounds, 2,500 assists, 700 steals and 300 blocks
- Scored 41 points in three of the Cavs first eight games (41 vs. Chi on Nov. 5th and 8th and 41 vs. Milwaukee on Nov. 11th), becoming the first player since Michael Jordan in 1991 to score 40-or-more in at least three of a team's first eight games of a season
- With 38 points, seven rebounds, six assists, three blocks and four steals versus Boston on Jan. 9, James became the first person to reach those numbers in a game since David Robinson on March 19, 1994
- Totaled 23 points, 15 rebounds, 11 assists and three blocks versus Sacramento on Jan. 27th, posting at least those numbers in a game since Larry Bird in 1987
- Tallied 33 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists on Jan. 24th at Utah, becoming the first player to record at least those numbers in a non-overtime game since Kevin Garnett in 2004
- Made a career-high eight three-pointers on 11 attempts on his way to a season-best 55 points at Milwaukee on Feb. 20
- Became only the 12th player in NBA history to have three consecutive triple-doubles (March 7th, 10th and 12th).
- Posted 43 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists, four steals and a block versus Orlando on March 17th, joining Larry Bird in 1992 as the only players to record at least those numbers in a game.
- Is the only active player in the NBA to have five consecutive seasons with at least 2,000 points and became just the ninth in NBA history, joining legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, George Gervin, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlin, Dominique Wilkins, Oscar Robertson, Alex English and Karl Malone all-time.
- With his fourth season of at least 2,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists, James became the 2nd player in NBA history (Oscar Robertson) to post at least those numbers in four seasons or more.