Cavs' LeBron James wins MVP award

May 4, 2009 at 5:09 PM
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AKRON, Ohio, May 4 (UPI) -- LeBron James, who led the Cleveland Cavaliers to a league-best 66 regular-season victories this season, has been selected the NBA's most valuable player.

James, at a Monday news conference at his alma mater St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio, was given the Maurice Podoloff Trophy, indicative of the MVP award.

"To be voted most valuable player of the NBA is unbelievable," James said. "People asked me the last two days, how do I feel? I don't know because it's an individual award and, if you know me, individual accolades, I never really get high on them.

"This is like a team award. Individual accolades come when team success happens," he said before acknowledging his teammates, who were in attendance at the news conference.

James was listed first on 109 ballots from the panel of 121 sportswriters and broadcasters who voted on the MVP award. He had a total of 1,172 points, easily out-distancing Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Laker who won it last season.

Bryant was the 2009 runner-up, totaling 698 points. Miami's Dwyane Wade (680 points) was third while Orlando's Dwight Howard (328) and New Orleans' Chris Paul (192) rounded out the top five.

James is the first Cleveland Cavalier to win the MVP award. He averaged 28.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and 7.6 assists a game this season while helping Cleveland to an NBA-best 66-16 record, including 39-2 at home. His scoring average was second-best in the NBA.

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