LeBron James Joins Pro Basketball's Elite Four MVP ClubLeBron James is steadily moving toward the top of Pro Basketball's Honor Roll. James fell one vote short of becoming the NBA's first unanimous regular season MVP but by winning the 2013 MVP he joined the sport's exclusive Four MVP Club:
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 6 (1971-72, 1974, 1976-77, 1980)
Bill Russell: 5 (1958, 1961-63, 1965)
Michael Jordan: 5 (1988, 1991-92, 1996, 1998)
Wilt Chamberlain: 4 (1960, 1966-68)
Julius Erving: 4 (1974-76 [ABA], 1981)
LeBron James: 4 (2009-10, 2012-13)
Abdul-Jabbar was 29 years old when he won his fourth MVP; he won two more regular season MVPs and he also captured a Finals MVP (his second such honor) as a 38 year old. Russell was 29 years old when he won his fourth MVP and 31 years old when he won his fifth MVP. Jordan was 33 years old when he won his fourth MVP (after taking nearly two full seasons off to play minor league baseball) and 35 years old when he won his fifth MVP; Jordan is the oldest regular season MVP in pro basketball history. Erving is the forgotten member of this exclusive club because the NBA and the mainstream media continue to ignore ABA statistics and ABA award winners. Erving was the first non-center to win three straight MVPs (he shared the second of those three MVPs with George McGinnis). Erving was 31 years old when he won his fourth MVP. He was the first non-center to win the NBA MVP since Oscar Robertson in 1964; Erving's 1981 MVP paved the way for Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan--and LeBron James.
James' fourth MVP elevates him above a very special trio of three-time MVPs: Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Moses Malone. James is just 28 years old and presumably has several prime seasons in front of him. If he stays healthy and motivated he has a realistic chance to tie or even break Abdul-Jabbar's record. James and Russell are the only pro basketball players who won four MVPs in a five season stretch--and James should have received the 2011 MVP (the infamous "Decision" probably cost him that honor), which means that on merit James should have won an unprecedented five straight MVPs!
posted by David Friedman @ 4:30 AM