Lakers News: Darvin Ham Believes LeBron James Should Be In MVP Conversation
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

It seemed like Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was finally starting to slow down after suffering a foot injury that hampered him during the 2023 Playoffs.

However, after spending the offseason resting and recovering, James has turned back the clock and looks like the only person who can hand Father Time a loss.

The NBA In-Season Tournament has brought the best out of the Lakers and James and he made sure that his team would be competing in the Championship game after he led them to a massive win over the New Orleans Pelicans. In just 23 minutes, the King scored 30 points and bent the game to his will.

Darvin Ham has been in awe of James since becoming the head coach and he firmly believes the superstar should be in the conversation for the 2023-24 MVP award. “Without question,” Ham said. “Without question. The way he impacts winning, what he’s doing at this stage of his career, without question. That’s a no-brainer.”

Ham has seen James break records and do the near-impossible on the court at his age and emphasized how grateful he is to have him on the team. “You know me, I’m a simple guy, so I just think to one word. Extraordinary. Otherworldly. That’s two, I know. A one-of-one. That’s a phrase. That’s not a word.

“But no, he is the ultimate tone-setter. Like for him, to go out from the start, just everything, from our meeting to our walk-through, everything, his communication, helping guys visually see what game plan we were trying to execute. And we were able to execute. His energy, him sacrificing his body, three charges. He set the tone for us on both ends of the basketball court for us tonight, and his teammates just follow suit. It’s a huge, huge blessing to have that working in your favor and to be on the same side as that.”

What James is doing in Year 21 is unprecedented and he surely belongs in any conversation regarding the best players currently in the league. With James operating at full strength, the Lakers have some real momentum to chase a title.

LeBron James compares competing in In-Season Tournament to NCAA Final Four

James has relished the opportunity to compete in meaningful games with stakes during tournament play, an experience he didn’t have growing up as he opted to jump from high school to the NBA. The knockout rounds are similar to the NCAA Tournament and James aptly compared it to playing in the Final Four.

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