Multiple National Basketball Association sources Monday have confirmed that Cleveland Cavaliers forward and Akron native LeBron James has been named the league’s Most Valuable Player for the 2008-2009 season.
James, a graduate of St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, is the first Cavalier to win the award. He led the Cavaliers to an NBA best record of 66-16 in the regular season after leading the United States of America to a gold medal in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
James started and played in 81 games this season. He averaged 28.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, 7.2 assists, 1.69 steals and 1.15 blocks per game. He beat out Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat, Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets and Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic for the honor.
A news conference has been scheduled for 4 p.m. at St. V-M to make the announcement official.
The Cavaliers defeated the Detroit Pistons four games to none in the first round and are slated to play the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the playoffs Tuesday.
Bryant, last year's MVP, led the Lakers to the second-best record in the league this season, and Wade, won the league's scoring title this season.
James finished second to Howard for Defensive Player of the Year. Cavaliers coach Mike Brown recently earned the Coach of the Year.
James, 24-years-old, is younger than Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson when they won their first MVP awards.
James led the Cavaliers in total points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks; and also shot career bests of 48.9 percent from the field and 78.0 percent from the foul line.
At 24 years, 106 days, he will be the youngest player to win the award since Moses Malone (24 years, 16 days) in 1978-79. Wes Unseld was 23 when he won the honor in 1968-69.
Also this season, James became just the second player to post five consecutive seasons of at least 27 points, six rebounds and six assists. The other is Robertson.