LeBron third in MVP votes; deserved second

Cavaliers star LeBron James finished third in NBA MVP voting.

LeBron James finished third in the league’s MVP voting — which sort of makes sense. James was the best player on the league’s third-best team.

At least, the Cavaliers were the third-best team, record-wise. They finished 57-25, behind the Warriors and Spurs, respectively.

Warriors guard Steph Curry won the award, becoming the first player in NBA history to receive all 131 first-place votes.

While Curry undoubtedly is also the most-adored player by national sportscaster and sportswriters in NBA history, there’s no doubt he deserved the honor. The Warriors finished 73-9 and no one has figured out a way to even slow him down.

Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, who clearly doesn’t yet have the same impact on games as James, finished second in the voting.

LeBron should’ve been second — but some media members with votes have been very vocal about turning against James after his decision to return to Cleveland in 2014.

Voting is conducted by a panel of 130 sportscasters and sportswriters, and one fan.

Here are the final results:

Player, Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Total Points
Stephen Curry, Golden State 131 — — — — 1,310
Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio — 54 34 26 8 634
LeBron James, Cleveland — 40 48 34 9 631
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City– 29 37 28 14 486
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City — 2 7 22 32 147
Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers — 4 3 9 37 107
Draymond Green, Golden State– 2 — 6 18 50
Damian Lillard, Portland — — 1 4 9 26
James Harden, Houston — — 1 1 1 9
Kyle Lowry, Toronto — — — 1 3 6

Below is the list of all-time winners:

Season – Player, Team
1955-56 – Bob Pettit, St. Louis
1956-57 – Bob Cousy, Boston
1957-58 – Bill Russell, Boston
1958-59 – Bob Pettit, St. Louis
1959-60 – Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia
1960-61 – Bill Russell, Boston
1961-62 – Bill Russell, Boston
1962-63 – Bill Russell, Boston
1963-64 – Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati
1964-65 – Bill Russell, Boston
1965-66 – Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia
1966-67 – Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia
1967-68 – Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia
1968-69 – Wes Unseld, Baltimore
1969-70 – Willis Reed, New York
1970-71 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Milwaukee
1971-72 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Milwaukee
1972-73 – Dave Cowens, Boston
1973-74 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Milwaukee
1974-75 – Bob McAdoo, Buffalo
1975-76 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, L.A. Lakers
1976-77 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, L.A. Lakers
1977-78 – Bill Walton, Portland
1978-79 – Moses Malone, Houston
1979-80 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, L.A. Lakers
1980-81 – Julius Erving, Philadelphia
1981-82 – Moses Malone, Houston
1982-83 – Moses Malone, Philadelphia
1983-84 – Larry Bird, Boston
1984-85 – Larry Bird, Boston
1985-86 – Larry Bird, Boston
1986-87 – Magic Johnson, L.A. Lakers
1987-88 – Michael Jordan, Chicago
1988-89 – Magic Johnson, L.A. Lakers
1989-90 – Magic Johnson, L.A. Lakers
1990-91 – Michael Jordan, Chicago
1991-92 – Michael Jordan, Chicago
1992-93 – Charles Barkley, Phoenix
1993-94 – Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston
1994-95 – David Robinson, San Antonio
1995-96 – Michael Jordan, Chicago
1996-97 – Karl Malone, Utah
1997-98 – Michael Jordan, Chicago
1998-99 – Karl Malone, Utah
1999-00 – Shaquille O’Neal, L.A. Lakers
2000-01 – Allen Iverson, Philadelphia
2001-02 – Tim Duncan, San Antonio
2002-03 – Tim Duncan, San Antonio
2003-04 – Kevin Garnett, Minnesota
2004-05 – Steve Nash, Phoenix
2005-06 – Steve Nash, Phoenix
2006-07 – Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas
2007-08 – Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers
2008-09 – LeBron James, Cleveland
2009-10 – LeBron James, Cleveland
2010-11 – Derrick Rose, Chicago
2011-12 – LeBron James, Miami
2012-13 – LeBron James, Miami
2013-14 – Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City
2014-15 – Stephen Curry, Golden State
2015-16 – Stephen Curry, Golden State