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LeBron James wins 3rd MVP award

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“I wanted to get back to who I was as a person,” James said.

It’s the first time the Heat hosted an MVP celebration.

Shaquille O’Neal won his only MVP award before coming to Miami, and James won the 2009 and 2010 trophies with the Cavaliers — receiving 225 of a possible 244 first-place votes in those seasons.

The NBA MVP trophy is named for Maurice Podoloff, the league’s first commissioner. Heat assistant coach Bob McAdoo won the award for the Buffalo Braves in 1975.

McAdoo said James had to deal with “absolute hate” last year over his decision to leave Cleveland sign with Miami, and some believe the repercussions kept him from getting as many MVP votes as he may have deserved a year ago.

That’s no longer a problem.

“He’s already a Hall of Fame player. That’s in the bag,” McAdoo said. “If you ask him, a world championship or an individual award, he’ll take the world championship every time.”

That quest will resume Sunday, shortly after Stern hands James the MVP trophy for a third time.

“I’d give all three of them back for an NBA championship,” James said. “It’s all I care about. It’s all I know.”

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