LeBron James has been mentioned in the Most Valuable Player conversation almost every year which is one of the major reasons why he is considered as one of the greatest of all time. However, despite his monster performance every game, the last time James received the prestigious award was in the 2012-13 NBA season when he won his second NBA championship title with the Miami Heat.
Last season, LeBron James single-handledly carried the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA Finals, and in 82 games he played in the regular season, the 33-year-old small forward averaged 27.5 points, 9.1 assists, 8.6 assists, and 1.4 steals on 54.2 percent shooting from the field and 36.7 percent from beyond the arc. However, he only ended up as a first runner-up to Houston Rockets superstar James Harden for the 2017-18 MVP award.
Now that he is playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James is expected to have a higher chance of winning his fifth MVP award. In the ESPN Summer Forecast for the 2018-19 MVP, James finished at the No. 1 spot with 39.4 percent first-place votes and 85 total points. However, Andre Snellings of ESPN believes it will depend on the Lakers’ performance next season.
“But what if James and the Lakers surprise everyone and make a run to a top-four seed in the Western Conference? James would have a compelling narrative in leading the NBA’s glamour franchise back to the playoffs after a six-year drought. James is coming off a monster season in which he led the NBA in games and minutes played, producing some of his best box score stats in years. If he replicates that effort while leading the young Lakers to success, he has a great chance to earn the fifth MVP award of his career.”
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Unlike in his previous stints with the Heat and the Cavaliers where he played alongside Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving, LeBron James will be heading in the 2018-19 NBA season as the Lakers’ lone superstar. The Lakers are mostly consisting of young players who are yet to have a playoff experience. After acquiring James in free agency, the Lakers controversially signed four role players — Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee, and Michael Beasley — whose fit with LeBron remains a big question mark.
Despite the addition of James to their team, the Lakers aren’t still considered as a huge threat in the deep Western Conference. Some people have doubt if the Purple and Gold can finally end their playoff drought next season. However, if the Lakers manage to exceed the expectations and finish as a top-4 team in the West, James may finally win his fifth MVP award.