The MVP Race is a tight one this season. 3 players have distanced themselves from the rest of the pack, thanks to their outstanding impact on their teams. Joel Embiid is the best player on the best team in the East, Nikola Jokic is averaging a near triple-double at the center position, and LeBron James is still the all-around best player in the world.
As good as Embiid and Jokic have been, LeBron James is the player that deserves the MVP Award and it isn’t close. Here are the 5 main reasons LeBron James deserves the MVP Award over both Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic.
5. The Lakers Have The Better Record Than The Sixers And Nuggets
Out of the 3 teams, the Los Angeles Lakers are the best team. They hold a 22-7 record and sit 3rd in the Western Conference right now, while the Sixers are 19-10 and Nuggets 15-13. The Lakers are third in the West while the Sixers are first, but the Lakers simply have a greater record.
LeBron James is the best player on the team with the best record out of the three teams, which immediately gives him the first edge in the MVP debate. LeBron has managed to play at an extremely high level at 36 years of age, and he is carrying the Lakers who will now be without Anthony Davis.
4. The King Is The Best Passer In The League, Even Ahead Of Jokic
Leadership and playmaking are two of the best characteristics of an MVP player. Joel Embiid is having a terrific year as the focal point of his team, averaging a career-high 29.6 PPG. Embiid has been a beast on offense and the boards, although his passing has gone down at 2.8 APG.
Nikola Jokic is the best passing big man of all-time. The uniquely talented center is averaging a career-high 8.6 APG, which is an extraordinary number for a dominant center. As great as Jokic has been, he doesn’t match up to LeBron James. The King is averaging 7.9 APG and no player sets up his teammates as well as LeBron does. The King is one year removed from leading the league in assists at 10.2 APG, and he is the player with the best court vision in the league. The Lakers’ wins are a testament to that.
3. Everyone Plays Better With LeBron James
LeBron James makes everyone around him better. That doesn’t mean that Embiid and Jokic don’t, it’s just that no player comes close to LeBron’s leadership. James is the smartest player in the league, is always efficient, and has been through countless Finals battles whereas Embiid and Jokic haven’t. Neither center makes their teammates better as LeBron does.
The Lakers made a slew of trades this off-season, bringing in the likes of Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrell to the squad. LeBron has made them feel immediately at home with the Lakers, and no team has the chemistry of the Purple and Gold. Simply looking at last season is evidence that LeBron makes everyone better, including a superstar like Anthony Davis.
2. LeBron Leads The Lakers Better Than Any Other Player On Their Team
The Lakers have Anthony Davis, but the Lakers don’t make it out the first round without LeBron James. LeBron does all the things needed for a team to win a chip, including being a vocal and emotional leader. Anthony Davis led the team in scoring last year, but LeBron’s playmaking was the reason the Lakers were successful.
James can score the ball every time down the floor, but he realizes team chemistry and rhythm is the way to dominate the postseason. James is the undisputed leader on the Lakers, whereby Jokic often looks nonchalant and Embiid relies on Ben Simmons at times. The Lakers go as LeBron goes, and that means he is the most valuable player on his team.
1. 36-Year Old And Still Best Player In The NBA
When looking at all the X’s and O’s, no player dominates the game like LeBron James. The King is averaging 25.7 PPG, 8.2 RPG, and 7.9 APG at 36 years of age. LeBron is shooting 37.8% from three this year, which is well above his 34.5% average. James is efficient as always, nailing 50.4% of his shots from the field. He always finds a way to get better, and his deep-range shooting has been spot on this year.
LeBron has a Ph.D. in professional basketball. Embiid and Jokic have nowhere near the talent nor experience to dominate games as The King can, and James is making his presence known in a competitive Western Conference. LeBron is a master at taking over games down the stretch, and he knows the strengths and weaknesses of every opponent he faces.
As long as LeBron keeps up this level of play and has the best record out of three contenders, The King will be a 5-time MVP by the end of this season.