It’s no understatement that Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has had a roller-coaster season. James broke Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA all-time scoring record in February, which stood for almost 40 years.
Three weeks later, he suffered a torn tendon in his right foot but managed to return in less than a month. And now, LeBron is facing arguably his biggest rival, Stephen Curry, for the fifth time in the NBA Playoffs.
By his standards, James has had a quiet postseason when it comes to scoring as he has struggled from deep. It’s not a matter of if, but when LeBron will break out for a strong performance though.
It’s been an up-and-down season for LeBron, which became even more evident when the recent NBA MVP voting was released on Tuesday and he did not receive a vote for the first time in his 20-year career, via ESPN Stats & Info:
LeBron James did not receive a vote for NBA MVP this season.
This is the first time in his NBA career he didn't get a single vote for MVP. pic.twitter.com/tUosrsxCZO
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 2, 2023
A four-time MVP, LeBron was voted in the top-three of the award for eight straight seasons between 2007 and 2015. He earned one vote last season even though the Lakers were out of the playoff race, marking the 19th straight season he received that honor. James broke the previous record of 17 straight seasons with a vote held by Abdul-Jabbar.
LeBron played in just 55 games this season, yet still averaged 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game in his 20th season. His longevity is remarkable and difficult to put into context, especially when considering MVP votes. But, there’s a way.
Of the Lakers’ four other starters, only Anthony Davis’ age reached double digits the last time LeBron didn’t receive an MVP vote. D’Angelo Russell was seven years old, Austin Reaves was five and Jarred Vanderbilt was four. Lakers rookie Max Christie had just been born.
There is no way of predicting if this is the one and only time LeBron won’t receive an MVP vote. But, regardless, it is a remarkable run that likely won’t be touched.
LeBron: Lakers must do better job of executing defensive game plan against Warriors
The Lakers stole home court with a Game 1 victory on Tuesday behind a monster Davis game. L.A. was up by 14 in the fourth, but the Warriors responded with a 14-0 run to tie the game with 1:38 left.
They were able to pull out the win, but LeBron emphasized that the Lakers have to do a better job with their defensive game plan.
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