Monday, September 26, 2022

Lakers’ LeBron James predicted he will make ‘impossible’ NBA history in 2022-23

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Los Angeles Lakers small forward LeBron James is set to make NBA history in 2022-23.

In a Sept. 22 article titled “Lakers Bold Predictions Ahead of 2022-23 NBA Season,” Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley predicted that James would win the 2022-23 MVP award.

“This prediction should be the boldest on this list, although not too outlandish to even consider. A 37-year-old to be crowned NBA MVP? After his team booked a playoff trip and had zero winning streaks for the last two seasons? Impossible right? In all other cases that would probably be true, but LeBron James is the ultimate exception,” Buckley wrote. “Obviously he’s not bound by the same age rules as the rest of us mere mortals. Last season, he had the second-highest scoring average of his legendary career (30.3 points per game). He has finished second in MVP voting two of the last five years. If he manages to stay healthy and solve the puzzle of this list, the award voters will be ready to shower him with praise.”

James is a four-time MVP. However, he has not won an MVP since 2012-13. The King averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists last season, but the Lakers won just 33 games and James only played in 56 competitions due to injuries and a one-game suspension .

If Buckley’s prediction comes true, James would equal Chicago Bulls icon Michael Jordan with five regular-season MVPs. Jordan is James’ idol.

Utah jazz legend Karl Malone is the oldest player to be MVP. In 1998/99 he was 35 years old. James turns 38 in December, so he would break Malone’s record if he wins the 2022-23 MVP.

“James’ numbers remain MVP quality — in addition to points, he averaged 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists while shooting 52.4 percent from the field last season — so if he’s healthy and the Lakers more competitive are than expected, he will have a better chance of securing this hardware than anyone else,” Buckley wrote.

James has already teased Lakers fans this offseason. He played in the Drew League on July 16 and finished with 42 points, 16 rebounds, four steals and three assists. The four-time champion is 1,326 points away from the great Lakers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.

On June 13th, James posted a picture of himself bending and screaming on his Instagram Story, with the caption, “Yes I know I’m a maniac!” The future Hall of Famer also posted a second story on one black screen with the caption: “MAN I CAN’T WAIT FOR FALL! SO READY TO COME BACK OUT THERE! SO MOTIVATED.”

Since winning the championship in 2020, the Lakers have lost in the first round of the playoffs and have not qualified for the play-in tournament. However, according to a July 29 report by NBA insider Marc Stein, James is reportedly “extremely happy” in Los Angeles. On August 18, he signed a two-year, $97.1 million extension with the Lakers.

James has played in 223 of a possible 307 regular season games since joining the Lakers in 2018, averaging 27.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 8.2 assists. During an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Chris Ballard in August, LBJ said he could “play for quite a while.”

“I feel like I could play for a while longer. So it’s all up to the body, but more importantly it’s up to my mind,” James said. “If my mind can stay sharp and fresh and motivated, then the sky isn’t even the limit for me. I can go beyond that. But we will see.”

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