LeBron James has been playing some outstanding basketball in recent years, leading to a 2016 NBA title with the Cleveland Cavaliers and another one in 2020 with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Still, it’s been eight years and counting since the 37-year-old All-Star last claimed the NBA MVP award. James has been named the league’s Most Valuable Player four times: in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013.
Unlike in 2019-20, the Lakers’ superstar hasn’t gotten plenty of mentions in the race for the award this year. Not because of a dip in form; James scores 28.6 points per game on the season, trailing only Kevin Durant. Also, he’s one of the two players averaging over 25 points, seven rebounds, and six assists — the other one being Nikola Jokic, last season’s MVP.
James’ chances to win the trophy for the fifth time are slim because of the Lakers’ 20-19 record at, nearly, the halfway mark of the current campaign. Which is why the forward claims he would want to throw his hat in the ring.
“Well, I think when you are placed in the MVP conversation it means that your team is winning games and you’re playing at a level that’s helping them win games, so if my name starts to be in the MVP conversation then I’m happy about it in the sense that means the Lakers are winning basketball games,” he said.
“And that’s what I want. That’s all that I care about. I know what I bring to the table every night, I know what I’m capable of doing every night, but I want that to result in wins and that’s always been my mindset in this league.”
If James somehow manages to win this year’s award, he will become the oldest ever player to be named MVP. As of now, Karl Malone remains the oldest MVP winner, claiming the title in 1999 — a few months before turning 36.
James leads West frontcourt All-Star voting after first returns
James racked up the most votes among Western Conference players classified in the frontcourt class in the first weeks of the All-Star voting. The Lakers’ forward garnered 2,018,725 votes, the fourth highest tally after the first returns.
Stephen Curry received nearly 2.6 million votes, leading led Kevin Durant in second and Giannis Antentokounmpo in third.
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