Arguments over the best player in the league today have really heated up this offseason after an unbelievable 2019 NBA playoffs.
While James has been widely viewed as the unquestioned best player in the league, a lackluster 2018-19 NBA season has now called that into question. Though James’ numbers were still outstanding, he dealt with a major injury for the first time in his career. When James was on the floor, it seemed as if he didn’t always take over games the way he used to and most importantly, the Los Angeles Lakers failed to make the playoffs.
Now when talking about the best player, many more are willing to put Durant, Leonard, and Antetokounmpo ahead of James. However, Lillard is not one of those as he revealed on The Joe Budden Podcast that he still believes James is the league’s best player:
“I think LeBron is.”
There are obviously still arguments for James being the league’s best player, especially when things ratchet up in the playoffs. It’s no secret that how players play in the playoffs is much different than the regular season and when it’s time for James to really turn it up, there is no proof that he isn’t still the league’s best and most dominant.
Lillard understands that which is why he still puts James at the top. It’s also why the Lakers are viewed as one of the favorites for the 2020 NBA Finals. With James and Anthony Davis in the fold, the Lakers will almost always have the two best players on the floor when it matters and there is no substitute for that kind of talent.
Of course, this debate is always fluid. It’s possible that James has lost a step and Leonard, Durant, or Antetokounmpo have surpassed him.
But until that is clear, it’s hard to take the crown away from James just yet.