The NBA has named LeBron James its Player of the Week in the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Lakers announced on Monday. This is James’ third time being honored this season, which makes him the first Lakers player to earn three weekly honors in a season since Kobe Bryant during the 2012-13 campaign. James also holds the record for most Player of the Week honors with 64. Bryant is second with 33.
Over the last week, James has averaged 29 points on 51.9% shooting from the field, 10.3 assists, 7.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals ad 1.3 blocks per game. He also led the Lakers to a 3-0 record, with wins against notable playoff teams like the Philadelphia 76ers, LA Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks. While the Sixers were missing their two All-Star players, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard were healthy for the Bucks and Clippers, respectively. It didn’t matter, though, because James — even at the age of 35 — is one of the most dominant players in the NBA, and he made a point to remind everyone of that during the Lakers’ tough two-game stretch.
James’ head-to-head victories with Antetokounmpo and Leonard had quite the effect on his MVP odds. After this weekend, James’s odds to take home his fifth league MVP jumped from +750 to +120, according to BetOnline.ag. Antetokounmpo still leads the field with -160 odds, but the gap is much smaller than it was before.
It’s unlikely that James will completely win MVP voters over within the next month, especially when you take into account that he’s won it four times already, but the fact that he’s even in the conversation is a testament to the type of player the Lakers have on their roster — and if history has taught us anything, it’s that we’re about to see the best version of him in the NBA Playoffs.
James will have to give up his thrown eventually, but until he says otherwise, it’s his to sit in.