Most around the NBA figured that Miami Heat forward LeBron James would take home MVP honors for the third time in four years, but there still was an outside chance for someone like Kobe Bryant or Kevin Durant to swoop in and claim the award.
The chances of that ended on Friday evening, as a report from the Associated Press announced that James would be awarded the MVP title on Saturday. Only seven other players have won three or more MVP awards in their careers.
Here is a tweet from ESPN confirming the information:
Breaking News: Report: @KingJames wins MVP, becomes 8th player to win 3 MVP awards es.pn/K3g0pi— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 12, 2012
This news really isn't newsworthy for the fact that Bryant did not win the MVP award, but that the changing of the guard in the NBA has clearly arrived. Guys like Bryant, Steve Nash and Tim Duncan have dominated the league for the last decade, and now with their careers slowly nearing an end, it is time for players such as LeBron, Durant, Dwight Howard and others to carry the torch moving forward.
Despite the loss, I don't think he'll be too distraught about missing out on the hardware. His five championship rings seem to work just fine for him.
For more on Bryant and the Lakers, be sure to check out Silver Screen and Roll.