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LeBron James expected to win 4th MVP

LeBron James is getting his fourth Most Valuable Player award — and the only mystery left is whether the vote was unanimous.

The Miami Heat star will be introduced Sunday as the award winner, according to a person familiar with the results. James will become the fifth player with at least four MVP awards, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, and Wilt Chamberlain.

No one has ever swept every first-place vote in the NBA’s MVP balloting.

James averaged 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 7.3 assists this season, shooting a career-best 56 percent.

If tradition holds, NBA commissioner David Stern will then present James with the trophy again Monday night in front of the Miami fans.

‘‘I absolutely have not even thought about it,’’ James said earlier this week when asked if he considered the weight of winning the award four times in five years. ‘‘I have not thought about it, until you just brought it up. I know the history. It would be a unique, unbelievable class I would be a part of, so we’ll see.’’

James won the award in 2009 and 2010, only got four first-place votes in 2011 — his first season with the Heat — then reclaimed the award last season.

A panel of writers and broadcasters from the United States and Canada vote for NBA awards. There also is one combined vote from fans who chose an MVP through online balloting or social media.

There have been instances of people coming close to sweeping the first-place votes. Shaquille O’Neal got 120 of the 121 top votes cast after the 1999-2000 season, with Allen Iverson getting the lone other one that year. And after the 2003-04 season, Kevin Garnett — then with Minnesota — got 120 of 123 votes, with two going to Jermaine O’Neal and the other to Peja Stojakovic.

Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers said near the end of the regular season James — who also finished second in voting for this season’s defensive player of the year award — might win this award many, many more times.

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