Mon, May 03, 2010
Sports > Basketball

LeBron retains NBA MVP title

2010-05-03 05:30:06 GMT2010-05-03 13:30:06 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

LeBron James (R) of the Cleveland Cavaliers accepts his MVP award from Kia Vice President of Sales Tom Loveless (L) during a ceremony at the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio May 2, 2010. (Reuters Photo)

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers gets a hug from teammate Shaquille O'Neal (R) during a ceremony to present James with the NBA's Most Valuable Player award at the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio May 2, 2010. (Reuters Photo)

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers laughs as Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown speaks during a ceremony to present James with the NBA's Most Valuable Player award at the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio May 2, 2010. James becomes the 10th NBA player to win the honor in back-to-back seasons. (Reuters Photo)

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers speaks as his Cavalier teammates join him on stage during a ceremony to present James with the NBA's Most Valuable Player award at the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio May 2, 2010. (Reuters Photo)

NEW YORK, May 2 (Xinhua) -- Cleveland's LeBron James extended his NBA Most Valuable Player award by taking 116 of a possible 123 first-place votes for a landslide triumph Sunday over runner-up Kevin Durant.

James, who had 109 of a possible 121 first-place votes from a media panel last year, was more overwhelming this year to defeat Oklahoma City's Durant, who had four first-place votes, and Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers.

James has powered the Cavaliers into the second round of the NBA playoffs. Cleveland beat Boston in game one of their best-of- seven series and hosts game two Monday.

Orlando center Dwight Howard, fourth overall, received the other three first-place ballots.

James, 25, took his game to another level as he led the Cavaliers to a league-best 61 victories in the regular season. He averaged 29.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 8.6 assists this season.

James accepted his award at Rhodes Arena at the University of Akron, Ohio, where he played many times as a high school star.

The Cavaliers playmaker became the 10th player to be named NBA Most Valuable Player in two consecutive seasons, joining Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Moses Malone, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan and Steve Nash.

"It hasn't been hard at all," James said. "I understand what my job is. I want to be the best player every night I go on the court. Me being the focus in free agency has nothing to do with what's going on the court. I can push that stuff aside."

Russell, Chamberlain and Bird won it three times in a row.

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