LeBron James has been dominating the NBA for over a decade, making every NBA Finals from the 2011-18 seasons while winning three championships in that time.
However, James’ first season with the Los Angeles Lakers saw that streak — as well as his 13 consecutive playoff appearances streak — come to a sad end marred by a ton of injuries to him and a young roster.
Because of this, it seems many have forgotten just how good of a player James is. For the first time since its creation, James was not the No. 1 player on ESPN’s annual #NBARank. Him and Anthony Davis have been constantly undersold in favor of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
Now, the disrespect James tour continues with the NBA’s annual GM survey and it starts at the small forward position — one that James has been in complete control of his entire career. Now, he is no longer being given that crown as general managers feel that Leonard is a better small forward, via John Schuhmann of NBA.com:
Who is the best small forward in the NBA?
1. Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers — 62%
2. LeBron James, L.A. Lakers — 24%
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee — 14%
Last year: LeBron James — 57%
This is the first season in an extremely long time that James has not received the most votes for this category. James has had a stranglehold over this category for as long as the world can remember and now the title belongs to Leonard.
For James, this is likely just extra fuel to a very strong fire deadset on proving all of these analysts wrong. He and Davis have clearly shown in the 2019 NBA preseason that they mean business by rattling the Golden State Warriors easily in both of their matchups with them.
James will just have to show when the games begin how wrong everybody was and it starts by getting a big win against the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2019-20 season opener.