Last season, LeBron James was unable to lead his team to the playoffs for the first time since 2006. For context to just how long that was, the first-ever tweet was sent out into the universe almost exactly a month before James made his playoff debut with the Cleveland Cavaliers on April 22, 2006, so, yeah — it’s been a while.
James missing the playoffs led to conversations about how much he has left in the tank at 34 years old, and whether or not he is still the best player in the league.
- For the first time since ESPN and Sports Illustrated started doing player rankings in 2012 and 2013, respectively, James wasn’t ranked No. 1 this summer. This year also marked the first time since 2016 that James didn’t get a single first-place vote for MVP. 2016 was the year Stephen Curry was unanimously voted MVP.
The list of people that believe that James has something to prove is as long as its ever been, and James plans to remind everyone exactly who he is in his second season with the Los Angeles Lakers: (via the “Scal and Pals” podcast):
Kendrick Perkins was on the RADIO.COM podcast, Scal & Pals, talking about his top 10 players in the NBA and what King James had to say in response.
“I had Giannis at No. 1 because I had to show respect that he won the MVP last year, his team had the best record in the league, had the best offense, best defense in the league last year,” Perkins said. “I texted LeBron and said that’s the only reason I had you No. 2. Know what he told me? ‘In due time I will reclaim my throne.’”
The funniest thing about all of this is that James’ “down year” is still a career year for most players in the NBA. Here is the list of players that were able to average at least 27 points, eight rebounds and eight assists last season:
- LeBron James
Here’s the list of players that were able to do in the season before that:
- LeBron James
He’s still really, really good, and it sounds like he’s looking forward to reminding everyone of that fact this season.