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FACTBOX: MVP LEBRON JAMES

Last updated on: June 22, 2012 10:00 IST

FACTBOX: MVP LEBRON JAMES

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Factbox on the Miami Heat, who won the National Basketball Association (NBA) championship on Thursday by beating Oklahoma City Thunder 4-1 in the best-of-seven final series.

-NBA finals: LeBron James wins MVP award

Miami were admitted to the NBA in 1988 as an expansion franchise. They play in the southeast division of the Eastern Conference.

Nicknamed the Heat, they have made the playoffs in 16 of their 24 seasons. They won the championship in 2006 and again in 2012 and were runners-up in 2011.


Image: Miami Heat's LeBron James celebrates
Photographs: Mike Segar/REUTERS

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After a slow start, they began to emerge as a leading team in the mid 1990s after hiring Pat Riley as head coach, winning divisional titles in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000.

Miami won their first championship in 2006, shortly after they had drafted Dwyane Wade and acquired Shaquille O'Neal from the Los Angeles Lakers.

In 2010-11 LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Wade at the Heat, establishing the Big Three. In their first season together they won the Eastern Conference but lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the championship.

In 2011-12 they finished the regular season, which was shortened by a lockout, with a 46-20 record, the second best in the Eastern Conference.


Photographs: Mike Segar/REUTERS

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In the playoffs they defeated the New York Knicks 4-1 in the first round, edged the Indiana Pacers 4-2 in the second round, beat Boston 4-3 in the Eastern Conference final then overcame Oklahoma 4-1 after losing game one.

Riley now serves as the franchise president. The head coach is Erik Spoelstra, who spent seven years as an assistant coach and scouting director before getting promoted.

James was named as the NBA's most valuable player during the regular season and the finals.


Photographs: Mike Segar/REUTERS

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