Former Champion Explains NBA’s Ulterior Motives Over Not Chosing LeBron James as MVP

Published 01/05/2021, 9:30 AM EST
Dec 25, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) drives past Dallas Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith (10) and Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) for a basket in the first quarter of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports


The 2019-20 season’s MVP race was rather controversial. Although Bucks’ superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo finally won it by a mile, many people were vocal about LeBron James deserving the award instead.

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Giannis had one of the best seasons of his career and had the highest PER of all time at 31.9. Statistically no one was near the Greek Freak. But when it comes to the impact on the court, LeBron James made a strong case of being to best guy on the floor.

He transformed the Lakers who were on the fringes of the Western Conference to a championship team. He made a strong case for having been the most valuable player of the team.

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Former NBA champion explains why LeBron James wasn’t chosen as the MVP

Four time champion John Salley recently sat down in an interview with Vlad TV. Salley explained why Giannis was chosen as the MVP instead of LeBron.

He said, “I’m a LeBron fan through and through. I think he has been railroaded by the NBA. LeBron should have been the MVP last year. I think Giannis is unbelievable and I understand what they’re saying the most valuable player to the NBA that’s the important thing people need to get.”

Salley further added, “To the NBA, Giannis is more important than LeBron because they feel that they have already surfed this wave, but LeBron investing into himself is important and that’s when he got up there and said I want my damn respect, he’s right. He deserved it. I think the MVP of the league should be at the end. It shouldn’t happen during the finals. Everything, every award should happen at the end… For the NBA, it’s important to have him (Giannis) as the next face. That’s an international face.”

The former Pistons’ forward makes a significant point. LBJ has been the face of the league for some years now. But given that he is already 36-years-old, the league will be looking for a new player to represent the league. In the Greek Freak, the NBA has a 26-year-old who has already proven that he is one of the best in the game. He can be the next face of the NBA.

But the claim that the MVP award was just given because of how important Giannis is to the NBA is still farfetched. The Greek Freak had one of the best regular seasons the league has ever seen and hence deserved the MVP award. Not only this claim questions the league’s credibility, it also discredits Giannis’ superb season.

Is LeBron an MVP candidate for this season?

LeBron James has been performing at the top level of the league for multiple years now. Not only has he been been one of the best players in the league, he has also been consistent.

This season, James has been the leader of the Lakers yet again and has averaged 23.6 points, 7.4 assists and 8.4 rebounds per game. Given the short off-season the Lakers had, fans might be seeing only preliminary numbers from the King which surely will increase over time.

Jan 1, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) brings the ball upcourt against the San Antonio Spurs in the second half at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

Over the years, LeBron has transformed his game to become more of a playmaker. He is still one of the fittest players and can score whenever he wants, but his numbers in chance creation have sky-rocketed.

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With multiple additions, the roster also complements LeBron and is filled with players who now can take advantage of the amazing playmaking ability of King James.

LeBron is a player who adapts with time. With age comes wisdom, and that is certainly true for LeBron. If he stays healthy, he can surely stay competitive in the upcoming years.

 

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Aditya Mohapatra

870 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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