A lot of people counted LeBron James out after he suffered a groin injury last year. He vowed to come back stronger than ever and the full summer he had to fully heal his body was a blessing in disguise. He looked sharper and in the better shape of his career in the summer.
That, combined with his well-documented basketball skills and his desire for revenge, made most basketball insiders consider him one of the best players for the 2019-20 season, even despite his age, and even despite the surge of the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard.
Sports Illustrated and ESPN both ranked LeBron as the best player in the league, while Bleacher Report ranked him 2nd. We're talking about a guy entering his 17th year in the league, while the average player can't even make it past 5 seasons.
James is still as dominant as ever. He's been serving as the Los Angeles Lakers' starting point guard and running the point full-time for the first time on his career. The result? He's averaging a league-leading 10.1 assists per game and is en route to winning his first assists-leader title ever.
But James is doing way more than that. Let's ignore his 25.7 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.2 three-pointers, and 1.2 steals per game on 49/39/69 shooting for a second.
What's impressed us the most about The King this season is his defense. His desire and drive in the defensive end look the same as when he was a young player in the league. He's embracing the challenge of locking down the best players in the world and he has succeeded.
James may not win the MVP award this season. But it's clear that, until further notice, he's still the best player in the world.