The Heat's LeBron James was officially announced as the winner of the 2012 NBA Most Valuable Player award on Saturday afternoon. Reports leaked out on Friday that James would be named MVP for the third time in his career and the league made it official one day later. He was presented with the trophy at a press conference in Miami.
At the press conference, James was emotional, stating that he hadn't been that nervous in a long time as he took the podium with butterflies in his stomach. He brought his teammates up on the stage to thank them and referred to the MVP as a team award for the Heat. James was also reflective on his past, and where he's come from to get to where he is today:
Where I come from -- Akron, Ohio -- they automatically think you're going to be a statistic...You're either going to fall in the streets or end up in prison, there's no way you're going to make it and be successful.
This is my ninth year in the NBA. Less than 10 years ago, I had dreams of being in the NBA. I dreamed of putting on an NBA uniform. I never dreamed about being the Most Valuable Player...It's something I never thought would happen.
James joins an elite group of players who have won three MVP awards. He is only the eighth player in NBA history to win it at least three times. The other seven on the list all have NBA titles on their resumes -- something LeBron is still gunning for in this 2012 Playoffs. LeBron addressed the outstanding goals for this season and the chase for his first title:
Heat nation, we have a bigger goal. I want you to know that. This is very overwhelming to me as an individual award. This is not the award I want. I want that championship and that's all that matters to me.
Here's the full list of three-time winners:
6 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
5 - Michael Jordan
5 - Bill Russell
4 - Wilt Chamberlain
3 - Larry Bird
3 - Magic Johnson
3 - Moses Malone
3 - LeBron James
James was a heavy favorite and won a convincing share of the first place votes for the award. He received 85 votes with the Thunder's Kevin Durant coming in second with 24 votes. Chris Paul (6), Tony Parker (4), and Kobe Bryant (2) were the other players to receive first place votes.