LeBron James has recorded a remarkable start to the 2020-21 season, often carrying the Los Angeles Lakers on his shoulders in a time of need.
The four-time NBA champion is averaging a career-low 33.1 minutes per game yet still putting up 25.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 7.5 assists over the first 20 games of the season. James has stepped up and emerged as L.A.’s driving force while his All-Star companion Anthony Davis has been looking to get out of a slump.
The 36-year-old’s display has drawn an abundance of praise from the NBA community reigniting the debate over his chances in the MVP Award race this season. Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens chimed in with an interesting opinion, saying James deserves to have more MVPs than he does, per Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports:
Brad Stevens on LeBron James: "He's as special as special gets. He'd be a multiple-time more MVP winner if people didn't get bored and look for other things to discuss."
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) January 29, 2021
Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo won the MVP title over James last season, claiming it for the second year in a row. But following the Lakers’ victory in the Orlando bubble, the Greek forward paid his respect to the 16-time All-Star and called him the best player in the world.
The praise “humbled” James, who reciprocated by complimenting Antetokounmpo himself.
James has ‘green light’ to rest or play
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel ensured the coaching staff has monitored James’ well-being even as he appears on the injury report for essentially every game.
The All-Star is yet to take a night off this season despite having little time to recover from the long 2019-20 campaign.
“He’s felt really good and wanted to stay in there,” Vogel explained. “We always give him the green light to stay in there too. “If there’s a reason why he needs a game off, then we’ll give him a game off. There hasn’t been one to this point.”
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