Is LeBron’s Time as the King Over?

LeBron James is truly the best player of an entire generation of NBA talent. Ever since Kobe has fallen victim to the still-undefeated Father Time, LeBron has been the only legitimate contender for best player in the world. A quick look at his stats leaves nothing to be desired:

  • Back-to-back NBA Champion with the Miami Heat (2012-2013) and the Finals MVP both years
  • Four-time NBA MVP with two different teams (2009-2010 with the Cleveland Cavaliers and 2012-2013 with the Heat)
  • All-Star every year since 2005 and the All-Star MVP in 2006 and 2008
  • 8x All-NBA First Team selection and 2x All-NBA Second Team selection
  • Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year in 2012

Nobody else currently playing the game today can say they have achieved as much as LeBron has. But yet, in a year where LeBron returned to his hometown Cavaliers alongside Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, things seem to be changing. The Cavs have become perhaps the most disappointing team in the NBA this season and the early hopes of a title run are all but gone.

And, more shockingly, there is a fresh new batch of players that seem able to finally compete with LeBron as the best player in the world.

Anthony Davis

If the Pelicans were any better than they are this year, Anthony Davis would be the clear-cut leader in the MVP race for this season. Not only is he scoring a ridiculous 24 points per game, he is doing it while shooting 56% from the field and only taking 17 shots per game. He also is chipping in with over 10 boards and nearly 3 blocks per game.

This season has been a breakout year for Davis. In terms of pure skill, he is widely considered to be the best player in the league. Already. And he’s only in his third season. His current high level of play added with the fact that he has so much potential left in him is a scary thought.

But yet, despite the great play from Davis, his team will probably be left out of the playoffs again this year. Sure, his Pelicans are in the Western Conference which is no easy place to win. But not making the playoffs means his team is in the bottom half of the Conference, which is nothing impressive at all.

One day in the near future, everyone will consider Davis to be the best player in the league. But until he starts winning, he cannot surpass LeBron for that title.

Kevin Durant

As the MVP of the league last season, Kevin Durant should already be considered the best player in the NBA.

Durant is basically a shooting guard that is nearly 7’0 tall. As a result, it isn’t hard for him to score, as shown by his ridiculous 32 points per game last season. But he isn’t only a scorer. Durant is liable to go off for a triple double any night. With his height and athletic ability, he is always a rebounding threat, and being surrounded by such great talent, he can easily get assists too.

While Durant did miss a great part of this season due to injury, he has come back and seems to be the exact same player that he was last year. He is in an interesting spot, however, due to this injury, as his Thunder are currently not in the playoff race today. His absence combined with Russell Westbrook’s missed time caused the team to get off to a terrible start, and now they are playing catch up. There is little doubt that the Thunder will squeeze in as a lower seed, but they still are in a quite different situation than they are used to.

Unlike Davis, Durant is not hindered by his inability to win. His Thunder have consistently been a figure in the Western Conference playoffs. Last year, they were eliminated by the eventual-champion Spurs in the Conference Finals. Just a few years before that, Durant made an appearance in the Finals. But he lost to none other than LeBron himself.

Winning the Finals is currently the only thing Durant doesn’t have on LeBron. Given his age mixed in with his exceptional play, however, there is a good chance that stat won’t be lingering over him for long. Durant is the best current contender alongside LeBron for best player in the world.

Who is really the best?

LeBron turned 30 just a few months ago, the unofficial age where everyone in the league begins to consider you old. LeBron is still playing at a high level this season, but he has quite possibly begun the decline that will continue for the rest of his career. With other tremendous players in the league on the rise, it may not be long before LeBron is finally surpassed.

Durant is the best current candidate to be considered the best. Last year, he actually WAS considered the best. All he has left to do is win it all. And for Davis, it won’t be long before he is seriously in the MVP conversation as well. In a way he already is, but he just doesn’t win enough games.

So what do you think? Is LeBron still the King? Let me know in the comments below!

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