Ahead of the 2019-20 NBA season, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James began using #WashedKing as motivation, following many people doubting him after a lackluster first season in Los Angeles. Now it looks as if LeBron is challenging that same motivation heading into the 2021-22 season.
James suffered his first major injury last season. Though he did return eventually, he could not lift the Lakers out of the first round of the playoffs after his co-star Anthony Davis was injured during the series. The team’s addition of Russell Westbrook this summer also has some doubting whether they can all come together and succeed as a team.
And now LeBron James has found more motivation because of an NBA scouts and executives poll in which he didn’t receive one vote for best player in the NBA. Following the news of that, James took to Twitter to thank everyone for even more motivation:
THANK YOU! As if I didn’t need more to⛽️ ME! #Washed????
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 19, 2021
On the one hand, it is easy to see how James could be overlooked in this poll. Kevin Durant put on an all-time great performance in his playoff run, nearly singlehandedly carrying the Nets to the NBA Finals. At the same time, Giannis Antetokounmpo had one of the best NBA Finals performances in years. On the other hand, recency bias is a thing, and LeBron has been out of sight and mind on the court, thanks to the early playoff exit.
But at the beginning of last season, LeBron showed that he was still amongst the game’s elite and was garnering more MVP buzz before he was injured. And this was coming off the prior season in which he nearly won the award again, finishing second to Antetokounmpo.
LeBron has always been motivated by those doubting him, and everything is lining up for him to have a lot of people to prove wrong this season. Of course, in his 19th season, it really shouldn’t be expected for him to carry a team, but considering he has shown minimal signs of slowing down yet, another run to prove the haters wrong is definitely not out of the question.
LeBron James posts video of workout with Russell Westbrook
And LeBron is already hard at work to ensure that he accomplishes that ultimate goal of winning another NBA Championship. James recently posted a video on his Instagram of himself and new teammate Russell Westbrook working out with Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy.
No one is sure how LeBron and Westbrook will work together on an NBA court, but the pair are motivated to show it can happen and shut many people up.