NBA notes: Report says LeBron will win fourth 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 and who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the league has not publicly announced the result. 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. After the season he had, James could be the first.
"I don't know who else you'd vote for," Heat forward Chris Bosh said Friday. "No offense to everybody else, but that's just how good he has played this year."
James averaged 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.3 assists this season, shooting a career-best 56 percent. It was absolutely no surprise that he won the award, and given the timetable for Miami's next game the Heat don't open Eastern Conference semifinal play until Monday night against Brooklyn or Chicago it had been widely assumed for several days that Sunday would be the day.
"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."
Only Russell had won four MVPs in five years, and only Abdul-Jabbar had gone back-to-back on the award twice.
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.
Bulls' Deng says he had serious illness
Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng made it clear Friday on Twitter that the illness that kept him out of a playoff game against the Brooklyn Nets was far more serious than the flu.
He missed the Bulls' loss in Game 6 on Thursday with what coach Tom Thibodeau said were flu-like symptoms.
In one of a series of tweets from the hospital, Deng wrote: "It really upsets me that everyone thinks I would miss a game" because of the flu.
He also confirmed he had a spinal tap to rule out meningitis earlier in the week. And he indicated he will join the team for Game 7 in Brooklyn if he's medically cleared, although he might have to spend the night in the hospital.
The Bulls are in danger of losing this first-round series after taking a 3-1 lead, and they were really short-handed on Thursday, with Kirk Hinrich sidelined by a bruised left calf and Nate Robinson and Taj Gibson playing through what the team said were flu-like symptoms.
Deng insisted his illness was more serious than that.
Wolves owner not selling team
Glen Taylor has pulled the Minnesota Timberwolves off the market.
Taylor said Friday that he has stopped looking for a buyer for the team and will instead offer to buy out any limited partners who are looking to sell. Taylor put the team on the market last summer in hopes of finding a person or a group that would be willing to buy a minority stake to start with and then take control a few seasons down the road.
"I think maybe I had seller's remorse," Taylor said. "All of a sudden I realized, 'Geez, what if I do sell this team?' I like coming here watching the games. I like being involved in this type of stuff."