LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers is the winner of the Maurice Podoloff Trophy as the 2008-09 NBA Most Valuable Player presented by Kia Motors. James totaled 1,172 points including 109 first place votes, from a panel of 121 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Players were awarded 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for each second-place vote, five for third, three for fourth and one for each fifth-place vote received.
Rounding out the top five in voting for this season’s award are the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant (698 points), Miami’s Dwyane Wade (680), Orlando’s Dwight Howard (328) and New Orleans’ Chris Paul (192).
As part of its support of the Most Valuable Player Award, Kia Motors America will donate either a new Borrego SUV or Sedona minivan on behalf of James to The Urban League of Akron. Kia Motors is presenting a brand new vehicle to the charity of choice of each of four 2008-09 season-end award winners as part of the “The NBA Performance Awards Presented by Kia Motors.”
James, the first Cavalier to win the award, led Cleveland in scoring (28.4 ppg, second in the NBA), rebounds (7.6 rpg), assists (7.2 apg, fourth), and steals (1.7 spg, eighth). Since the 1973-74 season when steals became an official stat, James is the fourth player to lead his team in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals, while also leading his team to 50-plus wins (Larry Bird 1985-86; Grant Hill, 1996-97; Kevin Garnett, 2002-03). The 6-8 forward helped Cleveland to an NBA- and franchise-best 66-16 season, a 21-game improvement over last season (45-37), marking the 12th time an NBA team has reached 66 wins in a season.
James led the league in triple-doubles (seven) and became the 12th player in NBA history to record three-consecutive triple-doubles (March 7, 10, 12). In his sixth season, James became the ninth player in NBA history to have at least five consecutive 2,000 point seasons.
Since the NBA began voting on the Eastern and Western Conference Player of the Month separately in 2001-02, James is just the second player to receive the award four times in one season (Kevin Garnett, 2003-04). James was voted the Eastern Conference Player of the Month in November, January, March and April. James was also named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week seven times (Nov. 10, 17; Dec. 29; Jan. 26; Feb. 9; March 16, 23).
The NBA MVP trophy is named in honor of the late Maurice Podoloff, the first commissioner of the NBA who served from 1946 until his retirement in 1963.
The 2008-09 NBA Most Valuable Player Award presented by Kia Motors is part of a series of on-court performance awards called “The NBA Performance Awards Presented by Kia Motors.” The awards, which are part of a multi-year marketing partnership that makes Kia Motors America the official automotive partner of the NBA, also include the Most Improved Player, Defensive Player of the Year, and Sixth Man Awards. The series also includes the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month presented by Kia Motors. For more information on the “The NBA Performance Awards Presented by Kia Motors”
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