The 2009 NBA MVP race was close, with three candidates going toe-to-toe to take the coveted award. In the end, LeBron James won the prize, beating Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant to take home his first MVP trophy.
Although LeBron was great with the Cleveland Cavaliers that year, some people believed that Wade deserved the award, including His Airness Michael Jordan. The Chicago Bulls legend weighed in on the 2009 MVP race, giving huge praise to Flash, naming him the rightful MVP. Why? MJ considered that removing Wade from the Heat will have a bigger impact on his team than removing James from the Cavs or Kobe from the Lakers.
“If you take away LeBron, if you take away Kobe, I'm pretty sure their teams would still be competitive,” Jordan said in an old interview.
LeBron won the award posting: 28.4 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 7.2 APG, 1.7 SPG, 1.1 BPG, 3.0 TO, 48.9% FG, 43.6% 3PT, 78.0% FT.
Kobe came in second place with: 26.8 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 4.9 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 2.6 TO, 46.7% FG, 35.1% 3PT, 86.6% FT.
Wade finished third in voting with: 30.2 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 7.5 APG, 2.2 SPG, 1.3 BPG, 3.4 TO, 49.1% FG, 31.7% 3PT, 76.5% FT.
Flash won the scoring title that year, making a big impact on the Heat's locker room. However, they couldn't get past the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the playoff. At the same time, LeBron's Cavs made it to the Eastern Conference Finals, losing to the Orlando Magic.
As for Kobe, he had the last laugh, beating Dwight Howard's Magic in the Finals, taking home the trophy that neither LeBron nor Dwyane could win.
In the end, the fact that LeBron took that Cavaliers team to win 66 games in the regular season sealed the deal for him. James was on another level during that season, destroying rivals every single night.
Although MJ had a good case for Wade, that wasn't enough to beat The King. LeBron James would win a second consecutive MVP in 2010, confirming his dominance in the league.