The award is one based on regular season performance, and even though James finished the year with career-best averages in both rebounds and assists, his team's late-season slide (along with a healthy portion of voter fatigue) allowed Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard and James Harden to move ahead of him in the eyes of those responsible for making the decision.
After the way LeBron has played to this point of the postseason, however, the idea that the best player in the world can't even crack the top three in MVP voting becomes increasingly ridiculous with each passing performance.
James initially took the high road when asked about the snub following his team's 44-point Game 2 win over the Celtics, claiming he didn't see the announcement before tip-off.
"No, I didn't see it," James said. "And what are you going to do about it at the end of the day? My only job is to try to be the MVP for this team every night, put my teammates, put our franchise in position to be successful and ultimately compete for a championship. For me, I know what I bring to the table. This league knows what I bring to the table. That's for you guys to write about. It's not for me to be concerned about."
But LeBron did have some thoughts about how the voting shook out before leaving the arena, according to ESPN.
He walked out of the arena with a small group of Cleveland beat writers who regularly cover the team and shared his frustration with the awards that have been revealed so far. He first wondered aloud who was the one voter who left him off their All-NBA first team ballot. He then lamented his MVP standing. "Fourth?" James said. "I haven't been fourth in a long time."
LeBron finished Game 2 with 30 points on 12-of-18 shooting, to go along with seven assists, four steals and three blocked shots, in a game his team led by as many as 50 points.
Getty ImagesGetty Images
Cavaliers head coach Ty Lue said he hadn't seen the list of finalists before the game either, but based on the way James played, he wouldn't have been surprised if his star player had.