James Takes Exception To Survey Shutout

Written by:
C Costigan
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He quickly jumped on Twitter to react to someone calling him washed up in reaction to the survey results, then posted his own Tweet about being left out of the voting.


“THANK YOU! As if I didn’t need more to (fuel) ME! #Washed,” the Tweet read. 

The 36-year-old James is entering his 19th NBA season in 2021-22 but is coming off a campaign in which he averaged 25.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, 7.8 assists, and 1.1 steals in 45 regular-season games. He also averaged 23.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 8.0 assists in the Lakers’ first-round loss to the Phoenix Suns in six games, the shortest stint in a postseason of James’ career and his lowest scoring average in a playoff season as well. 

Who’s Best? 

The survey, which asked numerous questions about the upcoming NBA season, had the ten respondents split on the best player in the NBA inquiry. Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant each received five votes.

Antetokounmpo was lauded for his play on the Bucks’ run to the NBA title in the 2021 playoffs. Durant received praise for his performance in a seven-game loss to the Bucks with his teammates James Harden and Kyrie Irving, slowed or sidelined by injuries.

One unnamed Eastern Conference executive went with Antetokounmpo but considered both Durant and James for the honor.

“(Antetokounmpo)’s unlocked a different cheat code at both ends that gives him that spot,” the executive was quoted as saying. “You can certainly argue for Durant and LeBron, but between injury and age, can they consistently do it?”

Antetokounmpo, Durant, and James were the only three players mentioned by those replying to the survey question. 

This isn’t the only thing that has rankled James recently, as he took to Twitter to stand up for other players on their rankings on the upcoming NBA 2K video game. Both Durant and Curry had their overall ratings on the game announced as 96 by the game’s publisher, 2K Sports. James felt both players deserved the best rating on the game, which is a 99 and Tweeted in response to the announcement of the rankings. 

But Who’s MVP? 

It’s an entirely different question altogether since it’s tied more to team success and other factors, but the early NBA regular-season MVP odds don’t feature either Durant or James among the top four players, and Antetokounmpo is only third on the list.

Dallas Mavericks guard Luke Doncic is the early favorite for the award at +400. The 22-year-old Slovenian is heading into his fourth NBA season and coming off a campaign that saw him average 27.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 8.6 assists. Doncic finished sixth in the MVP voting in 2021.

Next on the odds list is Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry at +500. Curry had a resurgence in 2020-21, averaging 32.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.8 assists and finishing third in MVP voting.

Antetokounmpo is third with +600 odds, followed by Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid at +700. Embiid was second in the MVP vote last season, while Antetokounmpo, who won the award following both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons, was fourth.

James and Durant are tied with Nets guard James Harden in the next tier at +1200, with the Lakers’ Anthony Davis, the Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard, and last year’s MVP, Denver’s Nikola Jokic, all getting +1600 prices according to NBA MVP odds.

James and Durant do top Antetokounmpo in a different area of futures betting, with the Nets currently holding the best NBA Finals odds for winning the 2021-22 title at +250. James’ Lakers are next at +300 after they added Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony, among others, in the offseason.

The reigning NBA champion Bucks are next on the list at +900, with the Warriors, who are expected to get Klay Thompson back after he missed the last two seasons with injuries, are fourth at +900.

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