Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant was named as the 2013-14 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player, the league announced today in a press release.
Durant received 119 first-place votes, with Miami’s LeBron James landing the other six. The half dozen voters who had LeBron as first on their ballot each had Durant second. LeBron was second on 118 ballots, with Clippers forward Blake Griffin receiving the only other second-place vote.
Durant had 1,232 total points, followed by James (891 points, six first-place votes), Griffin (434 points), Bulls center Joakim Noah (322 points), and Rockets guard James Harden (85 points).
Durant averaged a career-best 32.0 points to go with 7.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists, also a career high. In capturing his fourth scoring title, he joined Michael Jordan (10), Wilt Chamberlain (seven), George Gervin (four), and Allen Iverson (four) as the only players in NBA history to lead the league in scoring at least four times.
He shot 50.3% from the field, 39.1% from three-point range, and 87.3% from the free throw line. In addition to leading the NBA in free throw makes (703) and attempts (805), he had a pair of 50-point games, 14 games of 40+ points, and 17 games of 30 or more points plus 10 or more rebounds.
Durant was named player of the month four times, including the each of the first three months of the season, and he was also named player of the week on six occasions.
Durant’s season also featured a streak of 41 consecutive games of 25+ points (from January 7 through April 6), the longest such streak since Jordan did it in 40 straight games during the 1986-87 season. It was also the third-longest such streak in a single season in NBA history, behind Wilt Chamberlain (all 80 games in 1961-62) and Oscar Robertson (46 straight in 1963-64).
Durant will be awarded the Maurice Podoloff Trophy, which is named for the NBA’s first commissioner. Podoloff was the league’s leader from its founding in 1946 until he retired in 1963.
Don Ellis began covering sports in high school for the Eddyville (KY) Herald Ledger and the Attica (IN) Ledger Tribune. Other credits include Bulls4Ever.com and InsideHoops (columnist) and ESPN Florida (guest analyst, co-host, SportsCenter anchor) . In addition to running Bullsville.net and blogging for ChicagoNow, he is also an umpire for the Kentucky High School Athletic Association. He has been a Bulls fan since the days of Van Lier, Sloan, Love, Walker and Boerwinkle. He has also been a maniacal New England Patriots fan since Steve Grogan was a rookie.