Many people still consider Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James to be the best player in the game, even at 36. But none of those people were on ESPN’s panel of 10 NBA executives and scouts that shared their opinion on the subject in the magazine’s latest offseason survey.
Asked about “who is the best player in the NBA heading into the 2021-22 season,” no panelist opted for James, although some mentioned he was in conversation. Instead, they gave the edge to Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant, who ended up tied with five votes apiece.
After the survey result was announced, James was far from happy and made sure everyone knows it. He addressed the matter in several Twitter posts, which included a sarcastic “THANK YOU!” and “washed” hashtag while hinting that this disrespect will only fuel him to be even better in 2021-22.
One of the reasons James didn’t receive a single vote as the best player in the NBA might be his advanced age and struggling 2020-21 season. He missed the better part of the campaign with an ankle injury and never fully recovered. As a result, the Lakers were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Phoenix Suns.
This isn’t the first time in recent memory that LeBron James is left out best basketball player conversation. After the injury-riddled first season with the Lakers in 2018-19, James also failed to receive a single vote. He responded by having an impressive 2019-20 campaign in which he won his fourth NBA title.