In what was an extraordinary 17th season in the league, LeBron James led the NBA in assists, was named 1st Team All-NBA and won the Finals MVP for his efforts in leading the Lakers to their record tying 17th NBA championship.
However, James finished second in the 2019-20 MVP voting with just 16 first placed votes out of 101. Now in his 18th season, at 36 years of age, LeBron James is once again looking to prove his doubters wrong.
LeBron shared how he felt after receiving 16 first-place MVP votes out of 101. pic.twitter.com/uDftu3eI0J
— ESPN (@espn) September 19, 2020
Most Valuable Player:
Favourite: LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
2020-21 Stats: 25.2 PTS, 7.9 RBS, 7.4 AST, 0.9 STL, 0.4 BLK, 49.7% FG
Following his incredible 2019-20 season, LeBron James opened as one of the top six favorites to win the 2020-21 MVP. Given James’ age, the minutes he’s played in his career and the short turnaround from October’s NBA Finals to this season’s opening night, James drifted as far as +1400 to win the MVP.
However, as he has done so often during his time in the NBA, the 36 year old continues to defy his critics. Having not missed a game this season, James is averaging 25.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.4 assists, leading Los Angeles (14-4) to the best record in the NBA.
Throughout the Lakers first 17 games of the season, the ‘is LeBron James the MVP?’ discussion was beginning to circulate around the league. However that discussion became impossible to ignore following the Lakers Monday night matchup against LeBron’s former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. James erupted for 46 points on 19/26 shooting, including 7/11 from behind the arc, to go along with eight rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks, leading Los Angeles to a comeback win on the road.
— NBA (@NBA) January 26, 2021
As far as his competition goes, 21 year old Luka Doncic is the second favorite to win the MVP at +500. However Doncic’s Mavericks (8-9) are currently sitting outside playoff seeding in the West. Kevin Durant, Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic all share the third best odds of +600.
Having finished runner up to Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2019-20, James Harden in 2017-18 and Kevin Durant in 2013-14 all while having four MVP’s already in his trophy cabinet, a fifth award this season would be LeBron’s first since 2012-13 and would see him tie Bill Russell and Michael Jordan as five time MVP recipients. Leaving him one behind the all-time MVP leader, Kareem Abdul-Jabar (six).
If James’ body holds up throughout the entirety of the regular season and the Lakers (14-4) continue to boast the best record in the league, there is no reason why ‘King James’ cannot once again sit upon the NBA’s throne and be named the oldest MVP in the history of the league.
Top 10 Favorites To Be Named MVP:
- LeBron James (+400)
- Luka Doncic (+500)
- Kevin Durant (+600)
- Joel Embiid (+600)
- Nikola Jokic (+600)
- Giannis Antetokounmpo (+800)
- Stephen Curry (+1200)
- Anthony Davis (+2200)
- Kawhi Leonard (+2500)
- Damian Lillard (+2500)
If you need more news, information and predictions, head over to our NBA hub page for all your basketball needs.
*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of PointsBet.
Image by: All-Pro Reels