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LeBron James named MVP of the 2013 NBA Finals

Jun 21, 2013, 2:38 AM EDT

San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat - Game 7 Getty Images

MIAMI — With the Heat repeating as champions thanks to a thrilling Game 7 win over the Spurs, there was no question who would be named the Finals MVP if Miami was the one hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy before the night was through.

LeBron James finished with 37 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and two steals, and was every bit the deciding game’s most valuable player.

It wasn’t surprising that James was able to perform on the biggest stage, under the brightest lights, and with the most at stake. But the way he took to shooting midrange jumpers and three-pointers with confidence and accuracy was a little bit different than the attacking, driving style of play that had been his hallmark to this point in the series.

James hit four shots from between 15 and 22 feet out, and five from three-point distance. The shot that will define this game — and for now, mark his legacy — was an 18-footer with under 30 seconds to play that made it a two-possession game, and kicked off the celebration for the fans in attendance.

“You’re always happy for guys when they’re so dedicated, and we all know his work ethic,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said afterward, when asked about how James has grown as a shooter. “It’s probably unique for a guy who has been the best in the game since he was in seventh grade; usually you wouldn’t have the type of work ethic that would match that type of talent. But as the series went on, he realized that was probably the shot that was going to be open, and in the biggest game, the biggest moment, those are the shots that he hit. And those were the difference tonight.”

James talked about how he’s improved as a player, specifically in reference to his shooting. But most important to him seems to be the responsibility he has as the leader of his team and its best player — which is perhaps what ultimately motivates him to perform at the level of the game’s most valuable.

“I mean, I said before the series that I was a better player than I was last time I faced the Spurs,” James said. “Didn’t look that way the first couple of games, but I stuck with it. Through all that adversity and throughout, I guess, the rhythm that I was in at that point, I just kept going. Just trusted all the work that I put into my game. And to be able to come through for your teammates, for me, I think ‑‑ you know more than anybody how much I care about my teammates and hate letting my teammates down. To be able to come through for my teammates in the biggest moment on the biggest stage makes me more satisfied than anything in the world.”

 

  1. noonelistensanyway - Jun 21, 2013 at 3:28 AM

    If you live outside Miami who cares!!

    • cullenand99 - Jun 21, 2013 at 4:24 AM

      Obviously you do, considering you took the time to click on the article and write a comment.

    • fanofevilempire - Jun 21, 2013 at 7:32 AM

      your name says it all about you.
      are you kookoo?

    • condor75 - Jun 21, 2013 at 8:31 AM

      I live 1500 miles away and I do, don’t hate , appreciate

      • coronakid76 - Jun 21, 2013 at 4:17 PM

        Wonder if it comes down to it. Would the Heat trade Wade and keep LeBron??? That would be great!!! Help assemble a Dream Team Trio and then get moved cause your not as good as the guy you helped the team sign.

  2. mungman69 - Jun 21, 2013 at 5:04 AM

    I live in the Northeast and I care. It’s fun not caring who wins and watching greatness.

    • miamatt - Jun 21, 2013 at 1:09 PM

      You nailed it. While this morning I am beyond thrilled to be a Heat fan, the last two weeks have alternated misery and relief, with an emphasis on the former.

      For fans without a dog in the race, this was a dream series. But for Heat and Spurs fans, it was about that old Pat Riley quote: There’s winning, and there’s misery.

  3. wswalcottmedshow - Jun 21, 2013 at 5:39 AM

    As a fellow Akronite, I am happy for Lebron James and the Miami Heat. I never hated this young man for leaving Cleveland. It has been a treat to watch Lebron grow into a man these last couple of years. As for his legacy and Michael Jordon, it is a little tiring listening to everyone from sportscasters to people who have never paid the game unable to give James his full due as the nest basketball player on the planet. Because Lebron is the ultimate team basketball player and actually a very nice person (if people only had the experience of watching this young man grow up, locally) they would see why he will surpass Jordan, maybe not in rings, as the ultimate team basketball player that has ever lived.

  4. wswalcottmedshow - Jun 21, 2013 at 5:51 AM

    As for Lebron’s legacy and Michael Jordon, it is a little tiring listening to everyone from sportscasters to people who have never played the game unable to give James his full due as the best basketball player on the planet. Lebron is the ultimate team basketball player and actually a very nice person (if people only had the experience of watching this young man grow up, in Akron) they would see why he will surpass Jordan, maybe not in rings, but as the ultimate all-around team basketball player that has ever lived.

  5. bowmanj35 - Jun 21, 2013 at 6:25 AM

    GOAT! I don’t care what they say I’d take that kid over anyone ever. He can just flat out do more. blocking dunks by bigs and playing point on the other end. crazy. And I care, and I live on west coast.

  6. rushledger - Jun 21, 2013 at 6:46 AM

    This is why I can’t take basketball seriously, 3 years in a row the heat win the east, it’s the same 4-5 teams in contention every year, there’s never a dark horse, the best a dark horse does is maybe get to the second round. No parity, no interest. Lets not forget about flopping either, disgrace.

    • fanofevilempire - Jun 21, 2013 at 7:35 AM

      Lady, go watch gymnastics.

    • condor75 - Jun 21, 2013 at 8:31 AM

      How about just enjoying the action, sour puss

    • jaerba - Jun 21, 2013 at 11:50 AM

      So I guess the Pacers, who were 37-45 two seasons ago, taking Miami to a game 7 isn’t a dark horse?

      This year’s playoffs were fantastic.

  7. therealtrenches - Jun 21, 2013 at 6:57 AM

    How can you say there’s no parity after the Pacers and Spurs series’?

    Haters gonna hate.

  8. 1heatedtoombrayduh - Jun 21, 2013 at 7:36 AM

    Honestly, it is now time for people to get off of the “we hate LeBron” bandwagon…forget the GOAT talk for a little while and lets just enjoy great basketball..I think he has more than proved that he is awesome and he has accomplished what he has come to the league to do…

  9. mikejd12 - Jun 21, 2013 at 7:54 AM

    Only 8 comments ….. Silence for the haters!

  10. 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 21, 2013 at 8:04 AM

    Want to have some fun? Go read the comments after the Game 5 articles.

  11. mungman69 - Jun 21, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    A bunch of great players on both teams but one stood head and headband above all others.

  12. jordanismyidol - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    Not a lebron fan but i gotta say, he dominated this season and playoffs. Congrats to the king

  13. bleedburgandyandgold - Jun 21, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    I’m not a huge basketball follower I cheered for certain players some from both teams and just really enjoyed this finals from start to finish one of the best to watch since I was a kid 30 years ago you have to appreciate greatness when you see it and it was happening on both teams congrats to the Heat and their fans

  14. trimaster1 - Jun 21, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    People may not like LBJ, but you have to give credit where it’s due. In just the past 2 season:

    2 regular season MVP’s
    2 NBA Finals MVP’s
    27 game winning streak (2nd most ever)

    I think all the criticism he has received over the years has created a monster that hasn’t reached his prime yet. Lebron haters should be afraid. Very afraid…

  15. azarkhan - Jun 21, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    LeBron James’ smile in the photo says it all. I’m very happy for him. He is without question the best player in the world. But as a Spurs fan, what I like most about him is that despite his enormous individual talent, he is the consummate team player, always working to get his teammates involved. Some of his critics have condemned that as a weakness in his game. They couldn’t be more wrong. James understands that basketball is a team game, that a Mike Miller or a Shane Battier can be just as important to winning a championship as Hall of Famer Dwayne Wade. Congratulations on winning the MVP LeBron, you deserve it.

  16. 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 22, 2013 at 12:54 AM

    Gary Washburn voted for Mario Chalmers

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