According to ESPN’s latest 2021-22 MVP prediction poll, LeBron James ranks seventh on the list that does not include any first-place votes.
For the first time in his 19-year old pro basketball career, LeBron James has found himself among so many doubters when it comes to his abilities. Not so long ago, James received zero votes for best player in the NBA.
Father Time seems like a major cause of concern for King James’ critics. The 2020-21 season was a disappointing year for James. The former scoring champion was eliminated, by the Phoenix Suns, in the first round of the playoffs. His high ankle sprain kept him out for many months.
Recently, the LA Lakers made significant changes to their roster, acquiring All-Stars, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, and Rajon Rondo. Nonetheless, there has been heavy criticism coming their way due to the average age on the team being above 30.
ESPN’s pre-season prediction poll for 2021-22 MVP
The recent poll conduct by ESPN adds insult to injury for James as he isn’t even in the top 5 list of potential 2021-22 MVP candidates:
Kevin Durant | Brooklyn Nets: 45 points (38.9% first-place votes)
Giannis Antetokounmpo | Milwaukee Bucks: 38 points (33.3% first-place votes)
Luka Doncic | Dallas Mavericks: 35 points (16.7% first-place votes)
Joel Embiid | Philadelphia 76ers: 14 points (5.6% first-place votes)
James Harden | Brooklyn Nets: 11 points (5.6% first-place votes)
Stephen Curry | Golden State Warriors: 10 points
LeBron James | Los Angeles Lakers: 7 points
2x NBA champion and Finals MVP Kevin Durant tops the list with 45-points, including 38.9% first-place votes. The second position has current champion and Finals MVP Giannis Antentokounmpo with 38-points and 33.3% first-place votes.
The poll results have two members from the Nets’ Big 3 on the list in James Harden and KD. The beard ranks 5th on the list with 11-points and 5.6% first-place votes.
King James, who has the most no achievements under his belt on the given list, is ranked 7th with no first-place votes. Though the league MVP might not be the best player in the world, James getting such few votes seems rather harsh on the 17x All-Star.
The superstar is hopeful his recently formed Big 3 would silence his critics. The 36-year old is about to surpass Kareem Abdul Jabbar as the leader in all-time scorers. Thus James has a lot riding on him, entering the 2021-22 season.