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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, May 2, 2010

NBA: LeBron James wins MVP award in landslide vote


TOM WITHERS
AP Sports Writer

AKRON, Ohio LeBron James won his second straight NBA MVP award Sunday, dominating the voting just as he dominated on court all season.

The Cleveland Cavaliers star received 116 of a possible 123 first-place votes to win in a landslide over Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant. Durant was picked first on four ballots and Orlando center Dwight Howard, who finished fourth, received the other three first-place votes.

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant had no first-place votes and finished third.

Voting was done by a nationwide panel of sports writers and broadcasters, and this year one ballot was cast by fans in an online vote. Players were awarded 10 points for first, seven points for second, five for third, three for fourth and one for fifth.

James finished with 1,205 points, nearly doubling Durant (609). His margin of victory is the second largest in history, topped by only teammate Shaquille O'Neal, who by 799 points in 2000.

James is the 10th player to win the award in consecutive seasons, joining Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Moses Malone, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan and Steve Nash. Russell, Chamberlain and Bird won it three times in a row.

"I never imagined I would be on a list with names like that," James said. "Those are players I always looked up to when I was a kid."

For the second straight year, James accepted the Maurice Podoloff Trophy in his hometown of Akron.

Last May, he returned to St. Vincent-St. Mary High School and received the award in the quaint gymnasium in front of family, friends and the student body. He chose a larger but still familiar stage this year, opting for Rhodes Arena on the campus of the University of Akron.

As James' popularity soared as a prep star, his high school moved many of its games to Rhodes to accommodate overflow crowds and a growing media contingent interested in his story.

The ceremony was open to the public, and fans, many of them wearing an assortment of No. 23 James jerseys, stood in line for hours for their chance to witness yet another coronation of Ohio's basketball king.

"Akron Ohio is my home," he said to loud cheers. "Akron Ohio is my life and I love this city."

More than 3,000 fans chanted "M-V-P" when James finally walked on stage to accept his award. He was later joined on the podium by his teammates, each of whom congratulated him with a hug before surrounding him as he completed his acceptance speech.

James led the Cavaliers to 61 regular-season wins. He averaged 29.7 points, 8.6 assists and 7.3 rebounds.