LeBron James isn’t sweating the results of ESPN’s offseason survey.
Out of the 10 NBA scouts and executives polled, James, 36, received zero votes for the title of the best player in the NBA.
Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant and the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo evenly split the 10 votes for the league’s best player. This season, Durant powered the Nets through the second round of the playoffs as Kyrie Irving and James Harden suffered injuries. In addition, Durant had a spectacular performance with Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics earlier this month, winning his third gold medal.
Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee through the playoffs to an NBA title, the team’s first in 50 years.
James was the only other player considered, and according to ESPN was initially considered the pick for many voters who eventually decided on a different player. James’ age and persistent injuries — he missed numerous games in 2019 and 2021 — were reportedly cited as reasons for selecting the Greek Freak or Durant.
The 2019 survey saw a similar story for James, who received zero votes after failing to help Los Angeles make the playoffs. In the 2020 bubble that next season, he led the Lakers to the NBA title.
In 2021, as James struggled with a nagging ankle injury, the Lakers fell to the Suns in round one of the playoffs, snapping James’ 14 consecutive playoff victories record. L.A. responded by bringing on big-name veterans in Russell Westbrook, Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony – hopefully to gear up for another championship run.
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