LeBron James Wins 3rd NBA MVP Award: AP Source

His win will be announced Saturday, person familar with decision says

By Tim Reynolds and David Hill
|  Friday, May 11, 2012  |  Updated 9:16 PM EDT
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Miami Heat Season

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LeBron James is just one of eight players in NBA history to win 3 MVP awards.

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A person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press that Miami's LeBron James will be announced Saturday as the NBA's MVP, the third time he's won the award in the past four seasons.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the results have not been released. James is expected to be presented with the trophy Sunday by Commissioner David Stern before Miami hosts Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against Indiana.

James will become the eighth player to win the award at least three times, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Moses Malone.

He'll be the first to win as a member of the Heat. James' previous MVP awards in 2009 and 2010 came when he played for Cleveland.

James averaged 27.1 points, 6.2 assists and 7.9 rebounds per game. He led all players in player efficiency rating with 31.0. The next closest player, Chris Paul of the LA Clippers, posted a PER of 27.0. PER combines almost every basketball statistic known to man into one number. 

According to John Hollinger, who invented PER, a rating of 30 of above constitutes a runaway MVP candidate.

James' main competition for MVP was Kevin Durant of Oklahoma City. Durant led the NBA in scoring with 28.0 points per game, but trailed James with 3.3 assists and 7.5 rebounds per game. Durant was fourth in PER with 26.39, behind James, Paul and Dwyane Wade.

With three MVPs under his belt, all James needs now to reach immortal status is an NBA championship. With the Heat favored to reach the NBA Finals for the second year in a row, he seems to have a pretty good shot at crossing the final item off his basketball to-do list. 

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