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Published: 5/4/2009

James to be named NBA MVP, source says

ASSOCIATED PRESS

CLEVELAND Unstoppable at both ends of the floor this season, Cleveland superstar LeBron James is the NBA s Most Valuable Player.

James, who led Cleveland to a team record 66 regular-season wins and the top overall seed in the playoffs, will receive the award Monday afternoon, a person with knowledge of the choice told The Associated Press. James has chosen Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, his alma mater, as the site for the award presentation, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official announcement has not been made.

James is the first Cavaliers player to win the award. The 24-year-old 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.

At 24 years, 106 days, James is the youngest player to win the award since Moses Malone (24 years, 16 days) in 1978-79. Wes Unseld was 23 when he won it in 1968-69.

Focused from the start of the 2008-09 season, the 6-foot-8, 250-pound James sharpened his magnificent skills this season.

He started a career-high 81 games and set personal bests in field-goal (49) and free-throw (79) percentages. James became just the second player to post five straight seasons of at least 27 points, six rebounds and six assists. The other is Oscar Robertson, whose well-rounded game is the one James is most often compared.

James was in a three-way battle all season with Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant and Miami s Dwyane Wade for MVP honors. The trio teammates last summer on the U.S. Olympic team that won gold seemed to upstage each other on a nightly basis.

It s not a surprise that the loyal James would select his high school for the ceremony. It s where he won three state basketball championships and where he burst onto the national scene, becoming a cover subject for Sports Illustrated as a 17-year-old. He announced his intention to skip college in the Fighting Irish s quaint gym and recently filmed a 60 Minutes interview there.



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