NBA notes: James wins MVP, 1 vote shy of unanimously
LeBron James was at his best this season, and the voters tasked with selecting the NBA's Most Valuable Player took notice.
Every voter except one, that is.
The NBA still does not have a unanimous MVP, though no one has come closer than James did this season. The Miami Heat star was presented with the Maurice Podoloff Trophy for the fourth time in his career on Sunday after collecting 120 of the 121 first-place votes, with Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks picking up the lone remaining top choice.
"It was probably a writer out of New York that didn't give me that vote," James said. "And we know the history between the Heat and the Knicks, so I get it."
A panel of 120 sports writers and broadcasters cast ballots in the NBA MVP voting, with a combined online fan vote also being taken into account.
Shaquille O'Neal got every first-place vote but one in the 1999-2000 season, when one person cast his ballot for Allen Iverson who finished seventh that year. This season, Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder finished second, well ahead of Anthony, who was third and didn't even appear on nine of the ballots cast.
James averaged 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.3 assists this season, leading Miami to a league-best 66-16 record while shooting a career-high 56 percent.
Nets fire Carlesimo
After spending $350 million to upgrade their roster last summer, the Brooklyn Nets will start this offseason by looking for a coach. The Nets announced Sunday that P.J. Carlesimo wouldn't return, hours after they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.
Carlesimo helped the Nets finish 49-33 after replacing the fired Avery Johnson in December, earning the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.
But they spotted the Chicago Bulls a 17-point halftime lead and lost 99-93 at home Saturday night in Game 7.
The Nets were one of the NBA's busiest teams last summer. They re-signed starters Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Gerald Wallace and traded for Atlanta Hawks All-Star Joe Johnson in hopes of being a contender in their first season in Brooklyn after they were longtime losers in New Jersey.