James, Wade and the Heat are thriving and both have been regulars in the top of the MVP voting for the last five years. James took the honor in 2009 and '10. But James believes with their overall numbers down and the overall strength of the Heat that neither he nor Wade will win it this year.
"When we decided to come together our Most Valuable Player chances kind of went out the window," James said before the Heat played the Golden State Warriors Saturday.
"I think they classify it as an individual award. They look at it like the less help you have, the more numbers you have then the better chance for you to win that award."
Usually, being on an elite team is a prerequisite for winning the league's top individual award. Moses Malone was the last MVP from a team with less than 50 wins in 1982. Statistics, however, do play a significant role.
With minutes and shots down and sharing up, Wade and James' stats have taken a dip. James is averaging 24.4 points, down from last season when he was second in the league in scoring at 29.7 a game. Wade is averaging 24.5 points, his lowest total since the 2004-05 season.
"I don't know how you classify the MVP thing," James said. "Do you classify it as most valuable to his team, if you take that person off his team how do they play? Or is it how is he playing numbers-wise? I don't know."
James, though, may be his own answer. After winning the MVP last year for the 61-win Cleveland Cavaliers, the team entered Saturday 8-24 without him.
Brian Windhorst covers the Miami Heat for ESPN.com.