Being in the NBA for 17 years while playing at the highest level consistently is insanely tough. But 35-year-old LeBron James seems to have done it with ease. Earlier this month, he led the Lakers to their 17th championship, their first title since 2010.
His ability to consistently be the best player in the league is commendable, and teammate JR Smith feels that LeBron deserves to win an MVP every year. “For so long, so many people have been counting on his downfall,” Smith said. “Even if you think about the accolades, he could win MVP every single year. But when they go up there to talk about the conversations, he’s always the third guy.”
“It’s either Giannis or James. Or Russ or James. Or this or that person. And ‘oh you could always throw LeBron in there, look at his numbers.’
“People get so bored with seeing greatness. It’s disrespectful to an extent. How can you say he’s the best player in the world [every year] and not give this man MVP? I’ve never understood that. He can go to any team and make a championship run.”
After having the best ever Year 17 campaign in NBA history, LeBron will hope to do similar things next season. Previously, Kobe Bryant’s performance in 2012-13 was regarded as arguably the best Year 17 campaign in the league. He averaged 27.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, and six assists, and earned an All-NBA first team nomination.
LeBron took it a notch higher, averaging 25.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 10.2 assists per game while finishing second in MVP voting. Then he converted this regular-season brilliance into the playoffs too, leading the Lakers to the title and winning the Finals MVP.
After this spectacular season, he will be expected to do similar things next year too. With Anthony Davis, he has formed the scariest duo in the league, and the Lakers will rely on them to lead them to a successive title. They have already been labeled as the favorites, and fans will hope they can live up to these expectations and lead them to glory.
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