You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

How LeBron James’s MVP season was especially efficient

Miami's LeBron James was historically efficient en route to his fourth MVP award. He registered the third-highest total by an MVP in the category of Win Shares per 48 Minutes, which measures a player's per-minute offensive and defensive efficiency. James finished the season at .322 — only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has posted better numbers as MVP (.326 and .340 in consecutive seasons). The lowest: a .168 by Boston's Dave Cowens. Each MVP's Win Shares per 48 Minutes:

Multiple MVP winners

James joins an elite group with his fourth MVP. Only four other players have won as many, and Michael Jordan is the only other non-center to do so.

Left to right: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Wilt Chamberlain

Player MVPs Seasons
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, C 6 1970-71, 1971-72, 1973-74, 1975-76, 1976-77, 1979-80
Bill Russell, C 5 1957-58, 1960-61, 1961-62, 1962-63, 1964-65
Michael Jordan, G 5 1987-88, 1990-91, 1991-92, 1995-96, 1997-98
LeBron James, F 4 2008-09, 2009-10, 2011-12, 2012-13
Wilt Chamberlain, C 4 1959-60, 1965-66, 1966-67, 1967-68
Larry Bird, F 3 1983-84, 1984-85, 1985-86
Magic Johnson, G 3 1986-87, 1988-89, 1989-90
Moses Malone, F 3 1978-79, 1981-82, 1982-83
Bob Pettit, F 2 1955-56, 1958-59
Karl Malone, F 2 1996-97, 1998-99
Tim Duncan, F 2 2001-02, 2002-03
Steve Nash, G 2 2004-05, 2005-06
Best players to never win MVP

A look at the best Win Shares numbers for notable stars who were never league MVP, and who won the award that season. Kevin Durant's .291 this season wasn't enough to best James.

Left to right: Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, John Havlicek, Isiah Thomas, and Patrick Ewing

Player Best WS/48 Total MVP (WS/48)
Elgin Baylor, F 1960-61 .227 Bill Russell (.181)
Jerry West, G 1964-65 .261 Bill Russell (.234)
Rick Barry, F 1966-67 .218 Wilt Chamberlain (.285)
John Havlicek, F 1972-73 .172 Dave Cowens (.168)
Nate Thurmond, F 1972-73 .140 Dave Cowens (.168)
Bob Lanier, C 1973-74 .227 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (.250)
Pete Maravich, G 1975-76 .144 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (.242)
Elvin Hayes, F 1976-77 .173 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (.283)
Isiah Thomas, G 1984-85 .173 Larry Bird (.238)
Kevin McHale, F 1986-87 .232 Magic Johnson (.263)
Dominique Wilkins, G 1986-87 .197 Magic Johnson (.263)
Clyde Drexler, G 1991-92 .223 Michael Jordan (.274)
Patrick Ewing, C 1993-94 .211 Hakeem Olajuwon (.210)
Scottie Pippen, F 1995-96 .209 Michael Jordan (.317)
Gary Payton, G 1999-00 .195 Shaquille O'Neal (.283)
Kevin Durant, F 2012-13 .291 LeBron James (.322)
MVPs by position

Centers dominated the award in past decades, but Shaquille O'Neal is the only true center to win MVP since the 1994-95 season.

MVPs by team

The Celtics have won more MVPs than any other franchise, but none since Larry Bird in 1985-86.


Luke Knox/Globe staff

Quincy earns National Community Development Association honors

Quincy has earned recognition from the National Community Development Association for its efforts to educate the public about some of the city’s federally funded initiatives.

Perplexing death still troubles Vt. town, decades later

If a retired Vermont Supreme Court justice is right, a forsaken farmer found a way to haunt the fields in Newbury forever.

Despite World Cup glory, respect and equality elusive

The 2014 men’s World Cup winner received $35 million; the US women got just $2 million for their title.

More permits issued for nonluxury housing in Boston

Nearly half of the units permitted in the first half of 2015 will target low- or middle-income renters.

Boston 2024 counting on corporate America for $1.52 billion

Some critics say the revenue estimate could be too ambitious — with no way to insure against shortfalls.

How much artisinal juice can Greater Boston drink?

The question is gaining urgency as Boston neighborhoods fall to craft juice bars, and a glass of juice passes $10.

BU professor teaches a lesson in offensive speech

Boston University should stand by Saida Grundy, whose race-based views have sparked controversy.

Writing and living with an eye on the future in ‘Legacy’

Daniel Goldfarb’s smartly layered new play examines our need to strive for some kind of immortality, however illusory.

Wynn Resorts threatens to file defamation suit against Mayor Walsh

The company behind the Everett casino says Walsh made “false statements and untrue innuendo” in filings for the city’s lawsuit against the state gaming commission.

S.C. Senate votes to remove Confederate flag

Lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to remove the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the Statehouse.

Obama defends strategy against Islamic State

In the face of sharp criticism, President Obama portrayed the US-led coalition as gaining ground against militants.

Hillary Clinton ropes reporters

Shielding the former secretary of state from reporters’ questions has become something of a specialty her political operation.

Jim Webb brings a crucial voice to presidential race

The former senator’s stands apart from the one-dimensional career politicians cluttering the field.

As Republican infighting grows, donors call for calm

The sprawling GOP field shows signs it could tip into a bare-knuckles struggle for the nomination.

2 men charged in Burlington hotel killing

Derrell Fisher and Epshod Jeune targeted escorts during a crime spree, a Middlesex prosecutor said.

‘The Next Next Level: A Story of Rap, Friendship, and Almost Giving Up’ by Leon Neyfakh

Leon Neyfakh has known the obscure rap artist Juiceboxxx since their teens, and “The Next Next Level’’ uses their friendship to ask: What makes an artist?

Hundreds of thousands hear Francis at first Mass in Ecuador

Hundreds of thousands of faithful waited for hours under a broiling sun in a large dirt field in Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city.

Historic lightship to shine for first time since 1975

The Nantucket Lightship LV-112, which once illuminated the passage for ships through Nantucket Shoals, is the oldest ship of its kind.

Supreme Court wrong to give coal industry a reprieve

It is wrong to impose significant health and environmental costs on the American people.

NASA nearing Pluto, and the end of an era of exploration

After a journey of 9½ years and 3 billion miles, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is expected next week to sweep past Pluto.

Mixed reviews for MBTA’s new parking payment system

Commuters now have to pay by phone or buy a permit instead of inserting money into an “honor box.”

Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of