The annual survey on the best player in the NBA voted by scouts and executives made its presence known to LeBron James. A study that found LeBron is the most hated player in the NBA is making its way to the league’s front office. At age 36, LeBron is still playing at an elite rate, but it wasn’t acknowledged in a recent survey.
James didn’t receive a single vote as best player by execs and scouts in an ESPN poll. Instead rivals and reigning NBA Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kevin Durant stole the highly valuable praise. This is similar to LeBron’s first season in LA when 20 people voted and he didn’t have the pleasure of even one vote. Kawhi Leonard, Antetokounmpo, and Harden all cracked one or more.
“Who is the best player in the NBA heading into the 2021-22 season?” ESPN’s Tim Bontemps wrote.
“T1. Giannis Antetokounmpo: 5 votes
“T1. Kevin Durant: 5 [votes]
The “washed king” phrase was self-established by LeBron in 2019 and has since given the motivation he craves. In November of his first season in LA, LeBron said that the hashtag is part of his process to push himself to be great and continue his ultimate hall-of-fame campaign: “It’s just my personal motivation. I’m extra motivated to put myself in a position where I know I belong. It’s my personal motivation every single night to be on the floor and be great.”
Since then, The King consistently uses the hashtag when the doubters present themselves. Most recently, LeBron wasted no time in clapping back to the poll — taking his talents to social media.
By the end of the Lakers 2020-21 campaign — falling to the Suns in the first round — LeBron was already eager to return to the game he loves with the constant motivation that fuels him into playing his heart out each and every night.
All in all, the only issues that prevented Los Angeles from competing at their highest level was LeBron’s persistent injuries. Entering the approaching season, LeBron still has something to prove with his new teammates in the Lakers roster upgrade — as he hopes his injuries and fatigue diminish. As for the team as a whole, they’ll look to raise their 18th championship banner.