Even in year 18, LeBron James is producing at an unprecedented level, and the sportsbooks have taken notice.
Following a dramatic 46 point performance earlier this week against his hometown team, James is the new favorite to win the NBA’s most valuable player award.
According to ESPN’s Doug Kezirian, multiple sportsbooks around the country have moved LeBron ahead of Luka Doncic in the MVP race. Some still have the Slovenian native atop their rankings, but the recent play of the Lakers’ forward has changed things a bit.
LeBron has been on a tear this season, averaging 25.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 7.4 assists after the shortest offseason in league history. Many people expected James to take it slow during the regular season, which may be why he opened up as low as 6th in MVP odds before the season. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
What the 4-time champion has done instead is play in every game while leading the Lakers to the best record in the NBA through the first month-plus of action. He has yet to take a day off to load manage, instead resting at the end of blowout games after building healthy leads through the first three quarters. In fact, the former MVP is doing all of this while averaging the lowest number of minutes in his career at 32.7 minutes per game.
With all signs indicating that he can sustain this type of production for the entire season, LeBron James could find himself winning his fifth MVP award at the conclusion of the 2021 season. And while this is hardly his first priority, it has to feel good for James to continue to prove any doubters wrong.
Father Time is still undefeated, that much is true. And it will eventually come for everyone, even the King himself. But until that day comes, the Lakers will continue to have the best basketball player in the world.