The debate regarding who is the best player in the NBA is one of the topics that is discussed every year. As some NBA superstars start to fade, several young and promising talents are showing up with the goal of reaching the top and being considered the best. Fans and analysts have different criteria before considering a player as the best in the league.
In an appearance on The Joe Budden Podcast, via YouTube, Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard answered several intriguing questions, including who he believes is the best player in the league right now. Before Lillard shared his opinion on the matter, one of the hosts suggested that Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder should earn that title since he averaged a triple-double in the past three years. Lillard strongly disagreed with the idea, saying that averaging a triple-double doesn’t make a player the best.
“That’s like a numbers thing,” Lillard said, as quoted by SB Nation’s Silver Screen And Roll.
“It’s hard to do, so having that type of energy, being in that type of shape to get 10 rebounds, to get 10 assists and to score 10 points… that don’t make you the best player, just because you can do stuff like that that other people can’t do. That’s like athleticism and heart. That don’t make you the best player though.”
If there is someone who deserves the title as the best player in the league, Damian Lillard believes it is Los Angeles Lakers small forward LeBron James, and not Russell Westbrook.
“I think LeBron is,” Lillard said.
— Silver Screen & Roll (@LakersSBN) September 2, 2019
It’s definitely not a surprise why Damian Lillard has so much respect for LeBron James. Since being drafted as the No. 1 overall pick 2003 NBA Draft, James has made his presence felt on and off the court. At 34, James still hasn’t shown significant signs of slowing down and remains a very reliable contributor on both ends of the floor. Last season, James averaged 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, 8.3 assists, and 1.3 steals while shooting 51.0 percent from the field and 33.9 percent from beyond the arc.
Compared to Russell Westbrook, LeBron James undeniably has a better resume. James has won three NBA championship titles, while Westbrook is currently hoping that his tandem with James Harden on the Houston Rockets would produce a good result. As of now, James’ Lakers have a better chance of winning the NBA championship title than Westbrook’s Rockets.
Though they failed to add a third superstar in the 2019 NBA free agency, the Lakers managed to surround LeBron James and Anthony Davis with a quality supporting cast this summer. These include Kyle Kuzma, Danny Green, Rajon Rondo, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Jared Dudley, Avery Bradley, Quinn Cook, Troy Daniels, JaVale McGee, Alex Caruso, Talen Horton-Tucker, and the most recent addition, Dwight Howard.