How LeBron James Can Become the 2020-21 NBA Most Valuable Player

Published 01/07/2021, 9:34 AM EST
Dec 22, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) poses with 2020 NBA Champion ring before a game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


LeBron James is back at it again. Despite being in his 17th season, LBJ looks set to lead a league-best team to a second championship. While the ultimate goal is playoff success, there is a smaller regular season this time around. With only 72 games being played, teams need to strike while the iron is hot and get wins on the board. The threat of COVID ruining a chunk of a team’s season also runs large.

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One of the teams off to a fast start are the LA Lakers with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The team has a 6-2 record and are at the top of the Western Conference. LeBron James is averaging 23.9 points with 7.4 assists and 8.9 rebounds. Humble numbers compared to what he has done in the past, but they will soon pick-up.

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After coming second in the MVP race last season to Giannis Antetokounmpo, many have wondered if LeBron will make a push for it this year. While he is taking care of his body, he was doing the same last season. If needed, LeBron can crank it back up to MVP level. But what exactly will he need to do?

LeBron James: All gas, no brakes?

We are far too early in the season to look at his current numbers and project a statistical path for him. Four of his eight games this season have been 25+ point efforts. His assist clip has lowered after the Lakers brought in Dennis Schroder, but he is still coming up with 8 assists. His defensive effort may be diminished but is impactful in late-game situations.

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Jan 1, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) shoots over San Antonio Spurs guard Keldon Johnson (3) in the second half at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

While his numbers may not hold up to the monster stats that many others are having, he may make his case with a winning record. While that also brings Anthony Davis into the race, LeBron James is clearly the man running this team. He is the most valuable player on the most valuable franchise in the league. If they can have a league-best record, he should also be considered the most valuable player in the league.

LeBron also has the narrative going for him. His quest to equal Jordan is finally being legitimized rather than be laughed off. Considering how last year’s MVP race went, LeBron may have the voters’ support. After all, this award hasn’t always been given to the best on-court player. A lot of intangibles are put into this argument, and LeBron may have a lot of it going his way.

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Ultimately, LeBron doesn’t need another regular-season MVP to legitimize his career. That comes in the Playoffs. He can become the MVP of this season, but he will look to actively be the MVP of the Finals yet again.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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