It’s understandable if LeBron James feels reports of his demise are greatly exaggerated. And while scouts and executives not ranking him as the top player in the NBA isn’t exactly calling him washed, it’s not wild if that’s his spin on it.
Even I, who believe he held the number one position for longer than any player ever has ignored my hesitancy to take the crown from him and passed it to Kevin Durant.
Between the injury and age it’s only natural to doubt James will ever reclaim his throne. Heck, being in the conversation at all heading into his 19th season, one that will see him turn 37-years-old is absolutely amazing in and of itself.
But he does have a case if he thinks he’s being passed by. You only have to go all the way back to October to recall the last time LeBron was hoisting an NBA championship trophy and a Finals MVP, the only player to secure the latter with three different franchises. Not to mention he was likely poised to win the regular season Most Valuable Player award until Solomon Hill crashed into his knee. That was just this past March.
So in many ways we are all projecting forward by dropping him in the rankings rather than knowing for certain his run is done. Plus, the greats have always used outside sources to manufacture motivation. I’m pretty sure most of you saw 'The Last Dance' or Tom Brady’s Instagram. James has nothing else to prove. 'Space Jam' may have just been released but he already showed he went to Los Angeles for more than movies.
If this is how he puts a battery in his back, I get it. LeBron recently gave the likes of KD and Steph Curry credit, he wants to make sure he’s still receiving his.
Creating a chip on his shoulder hardly separates him from the GOATs, just ask Michael Jordan. The only difference is MJ didn’t have social media.