With the new NBA season coming up, there are big hopes and expectations from several NBA players and teams in the league. Fans and analysts alike are debating which teams and players have gotten better or worse ahead of tip-off for the new season next month.
Players like LeBron James, Steph Curry, and Kevin Durant will be entering the season with a lot to prove. All three players faced disappointment with the way their respective seasons ended and will be ready to show that last season was the exception rather than the rule going forward.
Whereas, the new generation of the NBA will look to continue their dominance. Players like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic, and Joel Embiid will be ready to take that next step in their career in order to establish themselves as the new faces of the league.
NBA franchises like the Lakers, Nets, and Bucks will be expecting to contend for the NBA championship. Whereas mid-table teams from last season like the Knicks, Heat, Mavs, and Trail Blazers will be hoping to move up in their respective conferences this year.
In anticipation of the new season, Sports Illustrated released their list of the 10 best players in the NBA for the 2021-22 NBA season. Kevin Durant secured the 1st spot, replacing LeBron James who fell to 3rd behind Giannis Antetokounmpo. Steph Curry and Nikola Jokic rounded at the top-5 as 4th and 5th respectively.
Luka Doncic, James Harden, Joel Embiid, Anthony Davis, and Kawhi Leonard rounded off the top-10. NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal posted this list on Instagram and asked what his fans thought about it. Fans chimed in with some interesting, and even hilarious comments, the best of which can be found below.
Kevin Durant securing the top position and being dubbed as the best player in the NBA comes as no surprise. KD had an incredible comeback season last year after an Achilles injury that would have impaired most players.
As for LeBron, people placing Durant over him is not a slight on him, but just an acknowledgment that he is older, and cannot perform at the peak of his powers anymore.
In fact, LeBron didn't get a single vote for ESPN's MVP favorites next season. But knowing LeBron, he will be using this list as motivation to once again establish himself as the best player on the planet.