This is one of the controversies of the week in the NBA: LeBron James would no longer be one of the 5 best players in the league according to ESPN’s ranking. A choice that makes a lot of talk, especially among great journalists. For an expert, there would be only two names which would deserve a place in front of the King.
In addition to the Ime Udoka controversy, pinned in a dark affair of morals within the organization of the Celtics, the NBA week was marked by the publication of the ranking of the best players in the league according to ESPN. Like every year, the list has caused a huge reaction from fans, whether they are satisfied or unhappy with the position of their favorite stars.
Within the Lakers Nation, it is notably the place of Rudy Gobert compared to Anthony Davis which makes people react, proof that despite his numerous defensive titles, despite his XXL transfer, despite his incredible EuroBasket, the pivot of the France team does not yet have the recognition he deserves from the general American public. With a whirlwind arrival in Minnesota, that could change.
Giannis and KD better than LeBron according to Zach Lowe!
Among the other axes of discussion, there is obviously the release of the Top 5 of LeBron James, he who spent the vast majority of his career there. For journalist Zach Lowe, it’s not a scandal if we’re talking about the regular season, since he’s getting older, but in a context of the playoffs, the specialist inESPN explained that he only sees two players superior to the King at the moment:
If you absolutely want LeBron James to be in ESPN’s Top 5 Best Players, just read the names of the guys in front of him. All of these guys are amazing, and there’s no Kawhi Leonard for example, who’s awesome, there’s no Kevin Durant. If we talk about the regular season, to carry his team over 82 games, LeBron’s 6th place is justified. He is older and only plays 55 games a year.
On the other hand, if we are talking about a single meeting or choosing a player for match 7 of a big series of playoffs, I choose the King in front of many players who are in the Top 5. To choose I take him in front of Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid. LeBron is still the master of the game, but I can’t take him ahead of Giannis Antetokounmpo, nor ahead of KD. These are the only two I want before.
For Zach Lowe, in the context of the playoffs, in the games that matter the most, LeBron James is always in the Top 5 of the league, and rather easily, since he would simply be behind Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kevin Durant. A self-respecting analysis that reflects the reality of recent seasons. If he was still in the Top 5 of the regular season, his Lakers would have qualified for the playoffs.
Time flies, LeBron James can’t stay at the top of the league indefinitely, and the fact that he is on the verge of the Top 5 according to ESPN is already an extraordinary achievement for a 37-year-old man. If he wants to come back, he will have to prove it on the pitch.