James wins third NBA MVP award

A person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press that Miami

of the Miami Heat during a game against the Milwaukee Bucks at American Airlines Arena on April 6, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

MIAMI (AP) -- LeBron James is joining an exclusive group.

The Miami Heat All-Star has been named NBA MVP for a third time in four years, making him just the eighth player in NBA history with three or more MVP awards.

Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Moses Malone have won at least that many MVP trophies.

James says he'd give up all three MVP awards for an NBA championship ring.

James averaged 27.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists. He's only the fourth player with those totals in at least two seasons, according to STATS LLC, joining Oscar Robertson, who did it five times, and John Havlicek (HAV'-lih-chek) and Bird who each did it twice.

James easily outpointed runner-up Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the balloting.

Last season's MVP, Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, appeared in only 39 of 66 regular-season games this season because of a variety of injuries and finished 10th.

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