LeBron ranks first

LeBron James Ranked As The Best In The NBA By ESPN

Last week LeBron James’ biggest rival, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, was ranked eighth best in the NBA by ESPN. Now, according to ESPN, James is far ahead of the rest of the field, including Durant, as he ranks as the NBA’s best.

James, who won a lot of people over with his decision to return to Cleveland this past summer, scored a perfect 10 out of 10 according to the ESPN Forecast Panel.

LeBron coming in at number one isn’t much of a surprise to anyone. James has been the best player in basketball for the better part of the last 5 years.

James, who was probably the most hated athlete in all of sports for the past 4 years when he was in Miami, became one of the most loved athletes in all of sports this past summer when he made the decision to go back home to Cleveland.

LeBron’s newest teammate Kevin Love came in at number 7 in the NBA, according to ESPN, while James’ other new teammate Kyrie Irving came in at number 23.

With the Cavs new all-star threesome of James, Love and Irving and the additions of Mike Miller, Shawn Marion and possibly Ray Allen, the Cavs are one of the favorites — if not the favorite — to win the eastern conference.

With Kevin Durant missing possibly the first two months of the NBA season due to a broken right foot, LeBron James is the favorite to take home the Most Valuable Player award, which would be his fifth in seven seasons.

There have been rumors that the Cavaliers are interested in Indiana Pacers all-star center Roy Hibbert, and could actively pursue a trade for him at some point this season.

Last season, while playing with the Miami Heat, LeBron James averaged 27.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.6 steals while making first team all-NBA and second team all-defense.

The new and improved, LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers open up their season tomorrow night against the New York Knicks at 5 p.m. eastern time at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. The game will be televised on TNT.

[Image via Getty Images]