LeBron James started the second half of the season with a big win for his Los Angeles Lakers, beating the Indiana Pacers 105-100. James 19 points with 10 assists and 3 rebounds to start the remainder of the campaign in a big way.
James is still considered the biggest candidate to win the 2021 MVP award and more now that Joel Embiid could miss some time with a knee injury (2-3 weeks) and the 4x NBA champion has the chance to prove his value for the purple and gold without Anthony Davis around. People feel he was snubbed from the award last season and now everybody is pushing to see the King take the prize home, including ESPN's Zach Lowe.
The analyst took a look at the MVP race, which is led by the Philadelphia 76ers star, LBJ, and perhaps Nikola Jokic and more candidates. Lowe wrote that knowing how great LeBron is and his consistency over the past decade, it's crazy to see he hasn't won the award in 8 years.
"James has not won MVP since 2013. You can explain away each individual season. I've had an official ballot in every season starting in 2013-14, and have not voted James as MVP in any of them. At the time, each vote felt fine -- close in some seasons, but fine. I don't regret any of them now. In totality, it still seems undeniably stupid that that guy we all recognize as the best player alive has not won MVP in eight years. It just does."
The last time he earned the MVP trophy was in 2013 when he was still with the Miami Heat. That version of LeBron was scary and he dominated the NBA without any problems, getting the MVP at the end of the season.
Now he's a more mature and smarter player who has a different approach to the game. Although he keeps showing his skills on the court and how athletic he is, his experience has changed something for him. If he wins it at 36, he would become the older player to get the award, surpassing Karl Malone (35 years).
Ever since that season, we saw big players like Kevin Durant (2014), Stephen Curry (2015 and 2016), Russell Westbrook (2017), James Harden (2018), and Giannis Antetokounmpo (2019 and 2020) winning the award and some fans could say some of these decisions were questionable knowing how great LeBron was during those years but nothing can change now and he has a big chance to get the prize this campaign.