While it might not be the most significant MVP trophy he’s won in his career, LeBron James has another one to add to his proverbial mantle. After being the guiding force for the Lakers as they ran the table to win the In-Season Tournament (IST), LeBron was named the MVP of the inaugural event.
Inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament MVP award: LeBron James.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 10, 2023
eading into Saturday’s final, across the first six IST games, LeBron averaged 26.8 points, 8.2 assists and 7.5 rebounds on 58.8% shooting from the field and 62.5(!)% shooting from the 3-point line. Yes, really.
His performances in the knockout round games solidified his spot as the MVP. Against the Suns, LeBron took over the fourth quarter against Kevin Durant, finishing with 31 points with 11 rebounds and eight assists.
In the Lakers' complete demolition of the Pelicans, LeBron was at the center of it all. In just 23 minutes, he had 30 points on 9-12 shooting, hitting all four of his threes and all eight of his free throws while also managing a plus-minus of +36.
On Saturday, it wasn’t quite as dominant as LeBron found himself in early foul trouble. Even then, he finished with 24 points, 11 rebounds and four assists in on 10-21 shooting. And while he wasn’t the best player on the court on the night, his body of work was certainly more than enough in the tournament.
This is LeBron’s ninth MVP award in the NBA after winning four regular season and four NBA Finals MVPs each. Again, this one may not carry the same weight as the others, but it’s more than Michael Jordan has.
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