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Cavs' James humbled by second consecutive MVP award

The Canadian Press

5/1/2010 8:19:59 PM

CLEVELAND -- One MVP trophy wasn't enough for LeBron James.

James, who raised his game to another level while leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to 61 wins in the regular season, said Saturday he's grateful to win the league's top individual award for the second straight season. He will receive the trophy on Sunday in his hometown of Akron.

"It's another humbling experience," he said before the Cavs hosted Boston in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. "It's hard to grasp, honestly. You put in a lot of hard work as an individual, you get an opportunity to showcase your talent with teammates that you love in a city that you love, it's great."

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

"To be in that class with guys who won it back to back or won it period, and to be in those books is great," James said.

Cleveland's crowd began serenading James with chants of "M-V-P" immediately after player introductions.

The 25-year-old averaged 29.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 8.6 assists this season. He will receive his award at Rhodes Arena at the University of Akron, a gym he played in many times as a high school star.

James won in a landslide last season, getting 109 of a possible 121 first-place votes. No player has ever won the award unanimously in voting by a nationwide panel of sports writers and broadcasters.

Cavaliers centre Shaquille O'Neal received 120 of 121 first-place votes in 2000.