MIAMI (NBA) - There will never be universal agreement when it comes to naming the best basketball player of all time.
There is no disputing, however, that LeBron James is among the greatest to ever play the sport and is without question number one right now.
Everyone was reminded of that over the weekend when the Miami Heat star was named as the NBA's Most Valuable Player for the fourth time in his career.
Four times in the last five years, James has been named MVP.
The latest honor has continued a magical 12 months for King James, who celebrated his first league title last year and then travelled to London and helped the Americans win the gold medal at the Olympics.
At 28 years of age, James needs just one more MVP award to equal Michael Jordan and Bill Russell, who captured five MVPs in their illustrious careers, and he is two shy of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
James almost certainly will not catch Russell in the title wins department with the Boston Celtics icon having led his team to 11 championships.
It's difficult to compare players of different eras, though.
Russell got his NBA titles in the 1950s and 1960s, and Jordan in the 1990s.
Where players like James, Jordan and Russell are exactly alike, and this is not up for debate, is that each has won at least one NBA title, each has claimed Olympic gold with the United States (James and Jordan did so twice, Russell once), and each has been recognized for a long stretch as the game’s greatest player.
James only barely missed being a unanimous winner for this year's MVP award.
He received 120 of the 121 first-place votes, with Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks picking up the lone remaining top choice.
James averaged 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.3 assists this season to fire Miami to 66 regular-season wins.
He shot a career-high 56% and was also one of the league’s best defensive players.
Getting his hands on the NBA crown is more important for James than the individual accolades.
He runs onto the floor in Miami on Monday night for Game 1 of the Heat's Eastern Conference Semi-Final series with Chicago.
"My ultimate goal is to win an NBA championship," James said.
"That's what I was brought here for. That's why I signed here as a free agent in 2010.
"It wasn't to win MVP trophies.
“It was to win a championship - and win multiple championships - and that's still my number one priority."