MIAMI – LeBron James spent two days trying to figure out the right words. An assistant jotted some ideas on notecards, which were ignored. So when the moment came to deliver his MVP acceptance speech, James spoke emotionally about family, charity, history and what the Miami Heat mean to him.

He finished with a flourish.

“Heat Nation, we have a bigger goal,” James said. “This is very overwhelming to me as an individual award, but this is not the award I want. Ultimately I want that championship. That’s all that matters to me.”

James accepted his third NBA MVP award Saturday, making him the eighth player in league history to win that many. The others — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Moses Malone — have won NBA titles.

James resumes his quest today.

“He’s going to get his,” said the Heat president, Pat Riley. “He will get his championship. And there might be a lot more there, too.”

James received 85 of a possible 121 first-place votes from a panel of sports writers and broadcasters who cover the league, with fans on combining for one vote. He earned 1,074 points, topping Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant (889 points, 24 first-place votes), the Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul (385, six first-place votes), the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant (352, two first-place votes) and San Antonio’s Tony Parker (331, four first-place votes).

James lauded the other candidates, and his teammates and those around him even more.

“This is a team game and I wouldn’t be receiving what I’ve received in the past and now in the present without my teammates and without my family and friends who have helped me to this point,” James said.

Durant gave congratulations.

“LeBron, that’s like unheard of for a guy to get three out of four MVPs,” Durant said.

“A good friend of mine. I’m happy for him and of course I would love to have the MVP but at the same time, I’ve just got to keep improving, keep getting better and hopefully I’ll have one soon.” 

BULLS: Point guard Derrick Rose had surgery on a torn knee ligament, and the team said it will give an update early next week on his recovery.

The team said in a statement the operation was “successful” but gave no timetable for his return.

GRIZZLIES-CLIPPERS: Memphis is confident yet realistic. It has its series with the Los Angeles Clippers back to even with a winner-take-all Game 7 today.

At least this decisive game will be played in Memphis.

The Grizzlies lost in the Western Conference semifinals last spring with the seventh game in Oklahoma City, and they feel the hostile road environment played at least a small part.

The Grizzlies will have a sellout crowd as they try to finish a rare rally from a 3-1 series deficit against the Clippers, who blew their second chance to advance with a 90-88 loss Friday night.

HAWKS: The NBA fined the Atlanta co-owner, Michael Gearon Jr., $35,000 for publicly criticizing officiating and making negative comments about an opposing player.

Gearon was quoted by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as calling Boston forward Kevin Garnett “the dirtiest guy in the league.”

Gearon also criticized officiating in the series, won by the Celtics in six games.