The Los Angeles Lakers recorded their fourth consecutive victory, on Thursday night, defeating the Charlotte Hornets by a score of 116-105.
The Lakers were powered by LeBron James, who led all scorers with 37 points while also pitching in with eight rebounds and six assists. The Hornets had no answer for James and his ability to exploit them from every section of the floor. The 36-year-old shot 14-of-22 from the field, including 4-of-9 from distance and 5-of-6 from the free-throw line.
Even in Year 18, James has shown no signs of decline and has Los Angeles playing some of their best basketball in months. James has also managed to only miss one game during the 2020-21 season, a testament to his dedication to showing up every night and making sure the Lakers are competitive on a nightly basis.
Head coach Frank Vogel believes James is setting an example for the rest of the NBA and has earned this season’s MVP award.
“He’s got great energy,” Vogel said. “He’s playing every night, setting a great tone I think for young players for the whole league. If he feels good, he’s going to be in there. Compete at a super high level and dominate the game.
“He’s the MVP of the league in my opinion, but thus far because of that mindset and what he’s doing for our team, he just wins the game in so many different ways. We’re the No. 1 defense in the league without Anthony Davis for most of this season largely because of what he does with his play and his quarterbacking and his voice. He has the ability to put up triple-doubles, score 30-40 points. He’s really doing it all for us.”
Vogel added that the superstar has gone too long without being recognized for how dominant he has been. “I think it’s a mistake on the voters’ part to go season after season without voting the best player in the league MVP,” Vogel said.
“It’s the simplest way to put it. There’s been other players that have been deserving, but he’s been the best player in the league for as long as I can remember. Maybe since his second or third year in the league. It’s just one of those things that is unfortunate, it’s not right. He should get it this year. He’s doing it every night and no one is as deserving.”
James has not won MVP since the 2013-14 season, which seems absurd when considering the fact that he has been widely regarded as the league’s best player for nearly a decade now. James’ greatness is often taken for granted for how high he has set the standard for excellence and has been penalized as a result of that.
Vogel predicted earlier in the year that James will his fifth MVP award, and this recent stretch from the Lakers has only strengthened his case. Hopefully the voters realize what he is doing and give him the award he clearly deserves.
Frank Vogel calls James best player to ever play
Vogel has not been shy when praising James and the head coach took it a step further when discussing him after their win against the Hornets.
“He’s the best player to ever play the game, in my opinion,” Vogel said. “I stated that, I think many feel that and he continues to prove it with his play. It’s just that simple.
“For him to do it this long through a change stylistically with the way the game is played now as opposed to even four-five years ago to still be this dominant to still be the best player in the league, it’s remarkable and obviously he’s doing a great job for us the Lakers to continue to win games and keep us afloat while a player like Anthony Davis is out.”
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