LeBron James is doing miraculous things in his 17th season, posting 25.7 points, 10.6 assists, and 7.9 rebounds on 49.8% shooting as he leads the Lakers to the top seed in the West.
But even now, amid all the things he’s been doing, there are doubts about whether or not he is still the NBA’s best player.
Some say Giannis, others say Kawhi, and former Chicago Bulls superstar Scottie Pippen says it’s LeBron James, so long as Kevin Durant is out. In an appearance on The Jump, Pippen was talking about LeBron and his leadership of the Lakers this season, but he also let it slip that he’d rank KD number one if he was fully healthy.
“I have to put my trust in the Lakers,” Pippen said. “At the beginning of the season I was really focused on the Clippers thinking that they had all the momentum. But I think that with some of the issues that we’ve been hearing coming out of the bubble, I see that LeBron James’ leadership, his ability to manage players is gonna be a winning way here.
“Because he’s the most dominant player in our game right now. In terms of having no Kevin Durant in the game LeBron James is the most dominant player. I think he’s that X factor that lead his team to a championship through his leadership and through his athleticism. Obviously he has Anthony Davis on his team as well.”
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) July 24, 2020
With two Championships under his belt, Durant has the experience he had been lacking for years. And, as one of the game’s All-Time greatest scorers, there is no question he deserves to be in the conversation.
But it remains to be seen how he can recover from the Achilles tear he suffered in the Finals. Will he return to the same player he was before? Can he recover his athleticism?
Pippen doesn’t seem to have any doubts that he can… should we?
As for LeBron, Scottie and the crew are trusting in his wisdom, experience, and leadership to take the Lakers far this postseason. When both James and KD are healthy next season, it will be interesting to see which one of them comes out on top.