LeBron James is still performing at the top of his game, but it seems that sports fans keep waiting for his skills to erode. He’s two seasons removed from an NBA championship and at 36 years of age he can convincingly say that no player in NBA history has been as effective and athletic at his age.
The accolades are endless.
- James is the only player in NBA history to have won NBA championships with three different franchises (Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers) as Finals MVP (Most Valuable Player).
- He has won four NBA championships, four NBA MVP Awards, four Finals MVP Awards, and two Olympic gold medals.
- James holds the NBA records for most points in the playoffs, is third all-time in points scored, and eighth in career assists.
- He has been selected to the All-NBA First Team a record 13 times, made the All-Defensive First Team five times, and has been named an All-Star 17 times, including three All-Star MVP selections.
Bron is still in contention for MVP on the court in addition to his social activism, entrepreneurship and philanthropy.
What more does this man have to do to still be considered the best?
I don’t know who needs to hear this but LeBron James is still the best player in the world. pic.twitter.com/sKVeXhD98q
— LeGOAT Fan ➐ (@hayescarroll_) August 8, 2021
With the new generation of ballers infiltrating the league, Bron is considered an “oldschool” player to teenage kids. This perception affects how he is ranked on top player lists.
In NBA.com Canada’s ranking of the top 30 players, James came in at No. 3:
“LeBron lands at three here, but The King is far from washed.
In fact, in our last ranking, James landed at No. 1, just days before he would go down with the ankle injury that altered the course of his and the Lakers’ season. Despite missing 25 of LA’s last 29 regular-season games, LeBron was full-go for the postseason, where he first led the Lakers past the Warriors in the Seven-Eight Play-In Game and then averaged 23.3 points, 8.0 assists and 7.2 rebounds in six games against the Suns, as he was eliminated in the first round for the first time in his career.
That LeBron is even in the conversation for the top spot ahead of his 19th season is incredible, and he has plenty of motivation to reclaim the throne. With an almost entirely new cast around him, James is primed to make some noise.”
Bron always makes noise. His 10 trips to the NBA finals puts him in rare company with just three other legends. Considering his history of dragging the Raptors for years in the playoffs and No. 3 is actually respectful coming from a publication in that area.
While the joy of experiencing Kawhi Leonard’s championship run has softened the memories of past playoff failures, the people of Canada still remember when Bron was the impenetrable wall.
The two players ahead of King James — Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks at No. 2 and Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets at No. 1 — have a long way to go before they have that many Finals appearances under the belt.
Few people would argue with the No. 1 and No. 2 choices because they carried their respective teams on both ends of the floor. The battles between KD and Giannis in last season’s Eastern Conference semifinals were hoops gold.
The NBA executives and scouts chose KD and Giannis above King James as well.
Bron responds to receiving no votes from polled NBA executives and scouts for the best player heading into next season
KD and Giannis were voted No. 1 🍿 pic.twitter.com/83DTMJFmSO
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 19, 2021
So there’s no shame in LeBron taking a back seat to these guys. They are both champions and the go-to players on their squads. James always uses something as motivation when entering a championship-caliber season.
The King has signed a plethora of former All-Stars to join him in pursuing his fifth NBA championship, which would tie him with Kobe Bryant in ring total. As early as December 2020, Sports Illustrated still had LeBron ranked No. 1. There are certainly a few ranking systems that will have the multi-faceted veteran at the top.
His ability to multi-task and use his platform for community improvement while still performing at an elite level is part of his argument for top dog as well.
In fact, don’t be surprised if Bron wins an MVP this season. He’s surrounded himself with veterans who understand basketball as well as any players in the league. From Rajon Rondo to Carmelo Anthony, they know how to dominate the mental aspect of the game.
Kign James isn’t sitting around stressing himself over any top player lists, but in the same way that he demanded his “got damn respect” in the past, we shouldn’t start counting Bron out because we are waiting for age to set in.
He’s been winning this joust with Father Time for a while now, and he’s earned No. 1 status until he decides to leave Tinseltown and hang it up to devote his multi-faceted life to saving the world on a full-time basis.