LeBron James has amassed 5 MVP awards in his 14 year NBA career and is widely considered the best player of all time. With a resume like that, it’s not hard to see why he was named the league’s Most Valuable Player 13 times. However, there were other players who could have won this award had LeBron met different criteria at certain points throughout his career. Let’s explore these moments when LeBron should have been awarded with an MVP trophy before ultimately deciding where they truly belong on this list.
The “oldest mvp nba” is a question that has been asked many times. The answer to this question is LeBron James. LeBron James has won 5 MVP awards in his career, which would make him the owner of the most MVPs in NBA history if he keeps winning them.
LeBron James is one of just three players who have earned more MVP Awards than him. Michael Jordan and Bill Russell each received five accolades, with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar leading the league with six. James is tied with Wilt Chamberlain for the most wins with four, although he could have won it nine times in his career. He finished in the top five in five seasons, but was beaten out by another athlete.
There were various underlying reasons why James was not chosen MVP in certain seasons, whether it was because he was young, passionate, or prejudiced. James was runner-up three times and third twice in the vote, which was done by a panel of media representatives. These five occasions might have easily resulted in James being named MVP.
Table of Contents
- 1 MVP Race in 2006
- 2 The MVP Race in 2011
- 3 Race for the 2015 MVP
- 4 Race for the 2018 MVP
- 5 Race for the MVP in 2020
- 6 The Record Should Have Been Held By LeBron James
- 6.1 Next
- 6.2 In NBA history, the 1962 MVP race was the most stacked.
- 6.3 Michael Jordan defeated nine Hall of Famers to win the NBA MVP award in the greatest MVP race in NBA history.
- 6.4 Magic Johnson defeated Charles Barkley in the 1990 MVP race. Michael Jordan finished third by only 22 points despite averaging 33.6 points per game, 6.9 rebounds per game, 6.3 assists per game, and 2.8 steals per game.
- 6.5 Steve Nash over Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone over Michael Jordan: The NBA’s Most Undeserving MVPs
- 6.6 Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James vs. Kobe Bryant in Game 7 Career Stats
MVP Race in 2006
Steve Nash is ranked first, followed by LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki. 5. Chauncey Billups, 4. Kobe Bryant
Steve Nash has a total of 924 MVP points.
18.8 points per game, 4.2 points per game, 10.5 points per game, 0.8 points per game, 0.2 points per game
688 MVP Points – LeBron James
31.4 points per game, 7.0 points per game, 6.6 points per game, 1.6 points per game, 0.8 points per game
LeBron James had to wait six years in the NBA to win his first MVP award. At 21 years old, his first MVP should have occurred in his third season in the league. This would have made him the NBA’s youngest MVP in history. The league, on the other hand, chose Steve Nash, who led the league’s greatest offense with the Suns.
James outscored Nash in terms of points, rebounds, steals, and blocks. For a forward, he also put up a respectable assist total. Nash and James were separated by the fact that Nash completed the season in the 50-40-90 Club, which was remarkable enough to win the voters’ hearts. The Suns, on the other hand, only won four more games than the Cavaliers, who improved by eight games over last season.
The MVP Race in 2011
Derrick Rose is ranked first, followed by Dwight Howard and Shaquille O’Neal. LeBron James, No. 3 Kobe Bryant is fourth, while Kevin Durant is fifth.
Derrick Rose has a total of 1,182 MVP points.
25.0 points per game, 4.1 points per game, 7.7 points per game, 1.0 points per game, 0.6 points per game
522 MVP Points – LeBron James
26.7 points per game, 7.5 points per game, 7.0 points per game, 1.6 points per game, 0.6 points per game
The The MVP Race in 2011 11 years later seems to be an emotional vote. James led the league in win shares, including finishing with more than two complete win shares more than Rose. Somehow, Rose received 113 MVP votes, while James finished with just four. When James left the Cavaliers in the 2010 offseason, it led to an emotional ripple effect throughout the world. Looking back, you have to notice there was some sort of bias in the voting.
For starters, despite the Magic losing six fewer games than the Heat, Dwight Howard received more MVP votes than James. The Heat won 58 games in the East, and there is enough evidence to suggest that James was the greatest player in the NBA statistically. Rose did, however, lead the Bulls to 62 victories and the best record in the Eastern Conference, so he has a point.
Race for the 2015 MVP
Steph Curry is ranked first, followed by James Harden and LeBron James. 5. Anthony Davis, 4. Russell Westbrook
Steph Curry has a total of 1,198 MVP points.
23.8 points per game, 4.3 points per game, 7.7 points per game, 2.0 points per game, 0.2 points per game
LeBron James has a total of 552 MVP points.
25.3 points per game, 6.0 points per rebound, 7.4 points every assist, and 1.6 points per second
Based on the Warriors’ collective resume, this is the team’s poorest year out of the five. Steve Kerr revolutionized Steph Curry in his first year as head coach, guiding the Warriors to a 67-win season, the most in the NBA. He was also 1.3 percent shy from joining the 50-40-90 Club with his field-goal percentage, while hitting an incredible 44.3 percent from three-point range.
With that stated, James led the Cavaliers to a second-best record in the East with 53 victories in his first season back with the team. The Cavaliers were a bottom-feeding club while James was gone. The squad was a contender in the Eastern Conference in his first year back. It’s not a coincidence.
Race for the 2018 MVP
James Harden is ranked first, followed by LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, and Russell Westbrook.
James Harden has a total of 965 MVP points.
30.4 points per game, 5.4 points per game, 8.8 points per game, 1.8 points per game, 0.7 points per game
738 MVP Points – LeBron James
27.5 points per game, 8.6 points per game, 9.1 points per game, 1.4 points per game, 0.9 points per game
The Houston Rockets had a 65-game winning streak, which was a remarkable achievement. But, how much of that achievement was due to Chris Paul’s assistance? Harden had a fantastic season, with 1.8 steals on defense, but Paul always improves the defensive performance of those around him. When you consider everything James had going for him, his numbers became even more astounding.
Because the Cavaliers won 50 games and were seeded fourth, James finished second. Consider Kobe Bryant’s therapy for his team placement from 2005 to 2006. James had more assists, rebounds, and almost as many points as his opponent. In that area, he was 1.4 win shares behind Harden. He also shot the ball almost ten percent better from the field than Harden, including an identical 36.7 percent from three-point range. How many more victories would the Cavs have needed to earn the MVP award?
Race for the MVP in 2020
Credit: USA Today Sports
Giannis Antetokounmpo is ranked first, followed by LeBron James. James Harden is third, Luka Doncic is fourth, and Kawhi Leonard is fifth.
962 MVP Points: Giannis Antetokounmpo
29.5 points per game, 13.6 points per game, 5.6 points per game, 1.0 points per game, 1.0 points per game
753 MVP Points – LeBron James
25.3 points per game, 7.8 points per game, 10.2 points per game, 1.2 points per game, 0.5 points per game
With 56 victories, the Milwaukee Bucks dominated the league, while the Los Angeles Lakers finished second with 52. Giannis had more points, rebounds, and assists, but James had more steals and assists. Which conference, the East or the West, was more competitive at the time? In any event, there’s a strong argument to be made that this is a toss-up. With that said, earning the Defensive Player of the Year Award for his defensive rating propelled Giannis to the top.
While Giannis was the league’s greatest defensive player while also posting a stellar offensive season, James was a 35-year-old point guard who also led the league in assists while playing on a Lakers team that was right in the mix with the Bucks for the league’s highest offensive and defensive ratings.
The Record Should Have Been Held By LeBron James
Last year, James was in contention to win the MVP Award for the first time as the oldest player to do it. Then he was injured and lost a lot of time, and the Lakers sunk to the bottom of the NBA rankings. He could have earned his sixth MVP award if he had remained healthy. Instead, it’s a reminder of what could have been.
Although James may not have merited the MVP in each of the five seasons, there is some evidence that he deserved it in at least three of them. James would have won seven MVP Awards if it had occurred. That would propel him beyond Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to the top of the MVP Award all-time list.
In NBA history, the 1962 MVP race was the most stacked.
Michael Jordan defeated nine Hall of Famers to win the NBA MVP award in the greatest MVP race in NBA history.
Magic Johnson defeated Charles Barkley in the 1990 MVP race. Michael Jordan finished third by only 22 points despite averaging 33.6 points per game, 6.9 rebounds per game, 6.3 assists per game, and 2.8 steals per game.
Steve Nash over Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone over Michael Jordan: The NBA’s Most Undeserving MVPs
Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James vs. Kobe Bryant in Game 7 Career Stats
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