LeBron James wins third NBA MVP award

May 12, 2012 8:38 AM

Miami Heat forward LeBron James is the NBA’s MVP for a third time, putting him alongside some of the game’s all-time greats.

James will be announced Saturday as this year’s winner of the league’s top individual honor and will be formally presented with the trophy by Commissioner David Stern on Sunday afternoon before Miami hosts Indiana in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Late Friday night, the Heat released plans for a 1 p.m. Saturday event on the court at AmericanAirlines Arena so the team and the NBA could ‘’make a major announcement.’’

James is winning the award for the third time in four seasons. Only seven other players - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Moses Malone - have at least three MVP trophies.

James said last week that while another MVP award ‘’would be amazing and would be humbling,’’ it’s not what drives him. In his ninth season, James still has not won an NBA title and it’s clear that, although he wanted to reclaim the MVP trophy, winning a championship is far and away his top basketball priority.

Abdul-Jabbar won the MVP six times, Jordan and Russell five times each, Chamberlain four times. After this weekend, they’ll be the only players with more than James.