At 34 years old, Los Angeles Lakers small forward LeBron James has showed few signs of slowing down. His dominance on and off the court is that of a true legend. LeBron is still averaging an astounding 27.3 points per game with a solid 8.3 rebounds per game. Despite these stats however, there are other players putting up equally astounding numbers. Not only this, but there are other players in the league that have shown that they can lead without needing the talent that other teams have. These factors, along with James’ need to butt heads with coaches, and team dominance may just demote him from the status of king.
Many argue that James isn’t going anywhere due to his solid stats. Although he is still scoring at an All Star level, he isn’t in the top five in the league for any of the top categories, including points, steals, rebounds or assists. This is all while players like Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden, Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook and New Orleans Pelicans center Anthony Davis each lead in multiple statistic categories. Not only that, but James has moved to a team with significantly less talent than what he has worked with since his first Finals championship. This means that something will need to change for James to get back on top or chase the rings that he craves.
It is clear that James strives to gain the title of being the greatest of all time. His drive is greater than any player in the league, and as a result he will not take losing or being number two. This means that any all star that gets signed will be forced to play second fiddle to James, a task that no rising player would want unless a near guaranteed championship appearance is involved. For this to happen within the next few years some big changes would need to happen. Not only that, but it would require more than one or two new players, especially with the dominance coming from the Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors currently have an all-star studded line-up and an excellent dynamic under point guard Stephen Curry’s guidance. Players like Curry have been stepping up to lead their teams like James. Players like Milwaukee Bucks’ point guard Giannis Antetokounmpo and Boston Celtics’ point guard Kyrie Irving have also played leadership roles that are on par with the veteran. Giannis, in his sixth year in the league, has already been put in charge to lead the East in the All-Star Game. The “Greek Freak” has made it clear that he is sticking with the Bucks, and wants to win for the city that has become his own.
James is a fantastic player that demands respect. It is clear that he is still on top in the minds of many across the country as made evident by his selection as team captain for the Western Conference All-Star team. This isn’t the case for the minds of the many young rising stars ready to take the league however. The work has been put in, and the time is almost near for a new king to be crowned in the NBA. The question now is, who will be the new king?