NBA: A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that LeBron James of the Miami Heat has won the NBA Most Valuable Player award for the fourth time in five years.
James will receive the award Sunday, according to the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the league hasn’t publicly announced the winner. NBA Commissioner David Stern is expected to present James with the trophy Monday in a ceremony shortly before the Heat open their Eastern Conference semifinal series in Miami against Chicago or Brooklyn.
James will become the fifth player with at least four MVP awards, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain.
James averaged 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.3 assists this season, shooting a career-best 56 percent.
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Group places money in escrow
KINGS: An investment group attempting to buy the Sacramento Kings and keep the team in Sacramento put 50 percent of its offered purchase price into escrow Friday, according to various media reports.
The deposit was one of the last significant hurdles in the Sacramento effort to stop the Kings from moving to Seattle. The Sacramento group is offering $341 million for the Kings, a backup offer if the NBA does not approve a $358 million bid from a Seattle group led by Chris Hansen.
While the NBA’s Relocation Committee vote sent a loud signal that the league wants the team to stay in Sacramento, and potentially persuade Hansen to stop his pursuit of the team, Hansen wrote on his sonicsarena.com website that he intends to see the process through.
That attempt will include meeting with the NBA Board of Governors when it meets on May 15 to cast a final vote.
What could be one option is Hansen arguing to buy the team and keep it in Sacramento if the city completes its arena project, but to then have the ability to relocate it if the arena does not unfold as planned. The Board of Governors would have to approve the sale to him, though.