LeBron James has won the first ever In-Season Tournament MVP award after his Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Indiana Pacers, 123-109, to win the inaugural NBA Cup. When commissioner Adam Silver handed him the trophy, he joked that it “didn’t come with a franchise,” in reference to James’ long-stated desire to own an expansion team in Las Vegas. Instead, the greatest player of his generation will have to settle for another trophy in his case.
The 21-year NBA veteran finished the tournament averaging 26.4 points, eight rebounds and 7.6 assists in seven total tournament games, but the four-time regular-season MVP saved his best for Las Vegas. When the Lakers faced off with the New Orleans Pelicans in Thursday’s semifinal round, James scored 30 points on 9-of-12 shooting in only 23 minutes of play. He wasn’t quite as dominant on Saturday, but his 24 points and 11 rebounds were critical as the Lakers pulled away from Indiana.
The race for MVP was dramatic until the end. Throughout the tournament, James’ chief rival for MVP was Pacers’ star Tyrese Haliburton, who improbably led Indiana to the tournament final against a loaded Eastern Conference field. The Pacers beat Eastern Conference favorites Boston and Milwaukee to reach the title match, but they just didn’t have enough against the Lakers on Saturday.
The biggest reason for that was Anthony Davis, who made a late push of his own for the MVP award. He dominated Indiana with 41 points, 20 rebounds, five assists and four blocks in the final. James called the performance from his star teammate “Shaq-like.”
This is the 12th total MVP award of James’ illustrious NBA career. He has won four regular-season awards, four Finals MVP trophies, three All-Star game MVPs and, now, the first In-Season Tournament MVP. After spending weeks talking about wanting to win the $500,000 associated with victory in this tournament,…
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Author : Sam Quinn
Publish date : 2023-12-10 05:09:35
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