OK, back on the blog after a few stressful days away...Don't ask!
The NBA will announce LeBron James as the MVP of the 2012-13 season at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. It's James' fourth MVP Award in five seasons, which is pretty good. Let's take a look at how James stacks up against the game's greats...
James' fourth MVP Award puts him in some elite company. Only four other players have won at least four MVP Awards, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six), Bill Russell (five), Michael Jordan (five) and Wilt Chamberlain (four). James is the second player in NBA history to win four MVPs in a five-year span...also pretty good. Russell also won four in five years.
A pretty small club. Abdul-Jabbar is the only player in NBA history to win six. He won the awards over a 10-year span. From the 1970-71 to 1976-77 season, Abdul-Jabbar won five MVPs over a seven-year span.
-Bill Russell won five MVP Awards over an eight-year span, including four in five seasons. He won back-to-back-to-back MVP Awards for the 1960-61, 1961-62 and 1962-63 seasons.
-OK, everyone loves to compare LeBron and Michael Jordan, so let's break it down. Jordan won his five MVP Awards over an 11-year span. He won his first MVP (1987-88) at age 24. LeBron won his first MVP Award at age 24 as well, but it was LeBron's sixth year in the league. James went straight from the NBA out of high school and Jordan played at North Carolina for three seasons before turning pro.
Jordan won back-to-back MVP Awards for the 1990-91 and 1991-92 seasons, giving him three MVPs in a five-year span. Jordan didn't win his fourth MVP until the 1995-96 season at age 32. (He was off playing baseball.) So, LeBron is way ahead of schedule.
-Wilt Chamberlain won four MVPs over a nine-year span, including three in a row for the 1965-66, 1966-67 and 1967-68 seasons.
-James has won four MVP awards in a five-year span, including back-to-back MVPs in 2008-09 and 2009-10 with Cleveland and 2011-12 and 2012-13 with the Heat.
Three players have won MVP Awards in back-to-back-to-back seasons: Russell, Chamberlain and Larry Bird.
Ten players have won MVP Awards in back-to-back seasons: Russell, Chamberlain, Abdul-Jabbar (twice), Moses Malone, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, Steve Nash and LeBron (twice). On Sunday, LeBron will join Abdul-Jabbar as the only players to pull off a back-to-back twice in their careers. Hey, sometimes Derrick Rose happens.