LA Lakers star LeBron James has slowly started to make his way into the MVP conversation thanks to his stellar form of late. The Lakers have won three of their last four games, which has strengthened James' bid to win the NBA's highest individual honor.
When asked about his MVP chances, the 37-year-old said he was "happy" since it meant his team was performing at a high level. He said (via Spectrum SportsNet):
“I think when you are placed in the MVP conversation, that means that your team is winning games and you’re playing at a level that’s helping them win games. So, if my name starts to be in the MVP conversation then I’m happy about it in a sense, (because) that means the Lakers are winning basketball games and that’s what I want. That’s all I care about."
“I know what I bring to the table every night. I know what I’m capable of doing every night. But I want that to result in wins and that’s just always been my mindset in this league," he added.
Many counted out LeBron James at the start of the season owing to his age and injury issues over the last few years. His critics did not consider him to be on the level that Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo were playing at, but the 'King' is producing numbers as good as he was a decade ago.
LeBron James is averaging 34.3 points per game across his last nine appearances for the LA Lakers
The LA Lakers endured a disappointing start to the campaign and were two games below 0.500 just a week ago. Their roster was affected by a COVID-19 outbreak that saw head coach Frank Vogel, along with key players like Malik Monk, Austin Reaves and Trevor Ariza, sidelined.
Meanwhile, All-Star Anthony Davis has also been out with an MCL injury since December 22.
With the LA Lakers dealing with a variety of obstacles, LeBron James took it upon himself to lead the charge and single-handedly dragged them to wins. He has been averaging 34.3 points, 9.8 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game over his last nine appearances, shooting 55% from the floor, including 40% from the three-point line.
His season averages currently lead 28.6ppg, 7.4rpg and 6.5apg. James is second in the NBA in scoring, behind Kevin Durant. With the win over Sacramento, the Lakers are 20-19 for the season, and are placed sixth in the Western Conference standings.
He also has 1.7 steals and 1.4 blocks per game to his name during that stretch as he continues to deliver on both ends of the floor. With Davis out, LeBron James has shown tremendous versatility by playing and starting games at the five for the LA Lakers. His success at center has paved the way for him to be included in MVP conversations again.