LeBron James is no stranger to the NBA Most Valuable Player award as he is one of just five players to have won it four times, doing so over a five-year span between 2009-13.
And for the 2019-20 NBA season with the Los Angeles Lakers, James is looking to add to that total and bring home a fifth award.
In his 17th season, James continues to defy all logic, being as effective as ever while playing point guard full-time and leading the league in assists. His level of play has him right in the thick of the discussion, but most still see Giannis Antetokounmpo as the clear favorite to walk away with the award for the second straight season.
Even still the possibility remains that James could overtake the favorite and bring home another award. James recently spoke about the possibility following the team’s win over the New Orleans Pelicans. In a postgame interview, James said that winning the award would be a sign of how great his team has been as a whole, as opposed to his individual performance:
“At the end of the day, it means you had team success. It means that your teammates put in all of the sacrifices just as much as you did. They went out and they tried to play as hard as they could to try and win because you can’t be a league MVP without team success and your teammates doing all the dirty work.”
James continued on, noting that he’s simply focused on each individual game:
“For me, I try to be an MVP every single night for our team on both ends of the floor offensively and defensively with my command, with my voice, with my approach. If that results in an award, then so be it.”
This is the approach James has taken all season so he doesn’t plan on changing it now and considering the results, he shouldn’t. James has put together one of the best seasons of his career, but whether or not he can surpass Antetokounmpo is another story.
After taking a major leap last season, Antetokounmpo has somehow improved once again this season and has led the Milwaukee Bucks to the best record in the NBA. He has been leading the pack all season and it will take an unreal stretch from James to truly challenge him.
But as James said, this is all about the team and their success. The Lakers winning is the most important thing to him and coincidentally, that would continue to help his own case. James may or may not bring home his fifth award, but his performance has been a sight to behold regardless.