24-year-old LeBron James, super star of Cleveland Cavalier, was crowned the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2008-2009 NBA regular season on Monday.
Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (L) receives the NBA Most Valuable Player award from Tim Chaney, Kia Motors America's marketing director, during a ceremony at James' alma mater, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, in Akron, Ohio, May 4, 2009. [Xinhua/Reuters]
It was announced a day before the Cavaliers begin their second-round series against the Atlanta Hawks. They trounced the Detroit Pistons four games in a row in the previous round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
James, the first Cavaliers player by winning the award, finished second in voting for defensive player of the year.
At 24 years and 125 days old, he became the youngest player to win the award since Moses Malone (24 years, 16 days) in 1978-79 Season. Wes Unseld was 23 when he won it in 1968-69 Season.
James started a career-high 81 games and recorded personal bests in field-goal (49%) and free-throw (79%) percentages. He became just the second player to post five straight seasons of at least 27 points, six rebounds and six assists.
When he was on the court, James produced staggering numbers: 28.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 7.2 assists a game. A league-high seven triple-doubles, a league-leading plus/minus of 871, and a nearly historic Player Efficiency Rating of 31.76, just shy of Jordan's record of 31.89 in 1988.
This season, James and the Cavaliers rolled to a 66-16 record, best in the league and in franchise history, including an incredible 39-2 at home, also best.
In a league of remarkable athletes, James, with his package of power and speed, may well stand alone.
(Xinhua News Agency May 5, 2009)