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MIAMI (AP) -- LeBron James of the Miami Heat says Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant would be a deserving winner of the NBA MVP award.

It's expected that Durant will be announced as this season's MVP later this week. James has lauded Durant's play this season several times in recent weeks, doing so again on Monday.

James says: "Much respect to him and he deserves it. He had a big-time MVP season."

James is a four-time winner of the league's MVP award, taking the honor in each of the previous two seasons.

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