NBA crowns King James as MVP

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James retraced the steps on Monday. His path to NBA superstardom.

An unstoppable offensive force who became an elite defender this season, James claimed the league MVP, receiving the award in the gym where he first became a star.

“This is a place where all my dreams started and where I thought they could become real,” James said. “There’s really not a better place.”

The Ohio kid anointed King James as a teenager has a new crown.

An MVP vote some expected to be close was another slam dunk by James. He received 109 of a possible 121 first-place votes to easily outdistance Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers. James totaled 1,172 points in balloting by media members in the U.S. and Canada.

“I’m 24 years old and I’m receiving this award, I never thought it would happen this fast,” he said, standing under three state title banners he helped win for the Fighting Irish. “I never dreamed about being MVP, but if I said I didn’t enjoy this award I’d be lying. Hard work pays off and dreams do come true.”

James is the first Cavaliers player to win the award. He averaged 28.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 7.2 assists this season, his sixth as a pro. He also finished second in voting for defensive player of the year, making him perhaps the league’s most dominant two-way player since Michael Jordan.

James credited his Cavaliers teammates, who attended the ceremony along with coach Mike Brown, for raising their games in Cleveland’s best season ever. The Cavs went 66-16, 39-2 at home and earned the top seed in the playoffs — a franchise first.

“Individual accolades come when team success happens,” James said. “You look at those 14 guys over there, I got the award because of them. They put in the work.”

James invited his teammates to the podium and presented each with an expensive camera.

“My mission hasn’t been completed,” James said. “I still I have a lot of things I want to do this season. I want to have another celebration in June.”

With his longtime girlfriend, Savannah, and their two sons sitting up front, James thanked his family, friends and former teammates during a touching speech. Promising not to cry, he spoke fondly of his mom, who struggled to raise her only son.


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