Many are ready to proclaim that LeBron James‘ time at the top of the NBA is over but he’s going to go down swinging. Tim Bontemps of ESPN recently conducted a survey of 10 NBA scouts and executives, and none of them voted the Los Angeles Lakers star as the best player in the league. It’s no surprise that the majority believes he lost his spot at the top, but it was surprising that not a single scout or executive gave him a vote.
It didn’t take long for LeBron to notice. The superstar took to both Instagram and Twitter to refer to himself as “Washed King” and “Super Washed.” He also used an emoji of a trashcan, insinuating that the survey was trash.
LeBron wasn’t done there. He sent a more direct tweet saying that this survey is just adding more fuel to his fire.
Nobody is the best basketball player forever but LeBron clearly thinks he still belongs in the conversation. As we’ve seen in the past, a motived LeBron is a dangerous LeBron. He could head into next season with a serious chip on his shoulder.
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Is LeBron Still the Best Player in NBA?
While LeBron clearly doesn’t agree he’s no longer the best in the world, it’s fair to argue that Kevin Durant and/or Giannis Antetokounmpo have surpassed him. He’s 36-years-old and will be turning 37 in December. It would be unprecedented if he reclaimed his spot at the top. The Lakers got knocked out in the first round of the playoffs and LeBron didn’t do much to help the team due to injury.
He’s now dealt with serious injuries in two of the last three seasons and isn’t getting any younger. Though, we can’t completely count him out quite yet. LeBron was leading the MVP race last season before getting hurt. When he’s healthy, there’s been no indication he’s not still an elite player. It’s very possible that he outperforms every player in the NBA next season.
Will Adding Russell Westbrook Help or Hurt LeBron?
One thing that could work against LeBron is that the Lakers added Russell Westbrook this offseason. That’s not to say that the guard will make Los Angeles worse, but could hurt LeBron’s stats. The team now has a big three and will have to share the load quite a bit.
Also, Westbrook and LeBron do a lot of the same things well. The latter has always been more effective when he can run the offense but that likely won’t be the case when Westbrook is on the floor. Perhaps the change in role could rejuvenate LeBron and lead to a big season. However, the Lakers should prefer it if Anthony Davis takes over as the team’s best player. At 28-years-old, he’s the future of the franchise. He had a bad year last season and needs to turn things around. It’ll be hard for him to turn things around if LeBron is trying to prove a point and Westbrook is dominating the ball.