ESPN has just released an offseason survey of 10 NBA executives and scouts, and LeBron James is not too pleased with the results. The four-time NBA MVP took to Twitter upon learning that none of those surveyed voted for him to be the best player in the league next season, with his #WashedKing mantra making a grand return.
James quickly pounced on a tweet saying that he was washed, replying sarcastically with “#SUPERWASHED.” He then posted a separate tweet regarding the poll, writing, “THANK YOU! As if I didn’t need more to fuel me.”
Durant and Giannis, the preferred choices ahead of James
In the survey, the votes were split evenly between Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant and Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. We can’t blame the ten voters for choosing these two stars as the standout player for the 2021-22 season after their fantastic play in the previous campaign.
Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to their second NBA title last season, sealing the championship with a career-defining 50-point performance in Game 6 of the Finals against the Phoenix Suns. Durant had a great season after sitting the previous year with an Achilles injury, leading Team USA to Olympic gold in Tokyo and posting remarkable numbers in the playoffs with the Brooklyn Nets, who were plagued by injuries to James Harden and Kyrie Irving.
Some voters considered James their pick as the best player for next season, but factors such as injuries and age held them back. James isn’t getting any younger as he will turn 37 this coming December, and he has missed large parts of two of the past three seasons with the Lakers due to various injuries.
Motivated LeBron is bad news for opposing NBA teams
That being said, it’s difficult to count James out, who has been in this same territory before. He didn’t get a single vote in this same survey two years ago after the Lakers failed to reach the playoffs in his first season with Los Angeles. Kawhi Leonard got the majority of the votes then, with 12, followed by Antetokounmpo, who had six, and Harden, who got the remaining two.
James used that as motivation, leading the Lakers to the 2020 NBA championship inside the bubble at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. James was on his way to another stellar year in 2020-21, but an ankle injury that he picked up in March derailed what could have been another MVP season.
James will have some reinforcements as he looks to lead LA back to the promised land. The Lakers traded for All-Star guard Russell Westbrook and signed veterans Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard to maximize James’ remaining years in the NBA.
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