Los Angeles Lakers small forward LeBron James has been predicted to make NBA history in 2022-23.
In a September 22nd piece called “Lakers Bold Predictions Ahead of 2022-23 NBA Season,” Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley predicted James to win the 2022-23 MVP Award.
“This prediction should be the boldest on this list, if not too outlandish to even qualify for consideration. A 37-year-old being crowned NBA MVP? After his team booked one playoff trip and recorded zero series wins over the previous two seasons? Impossible, right? In all other cases, that would probably be correct, but LeBron James is the ultimate exception,” Buckley wrote. “Clearly, he isn’t bound to the same rules of aging as the rest of us mere mortals. Last season, he posted the second-highest scoring average of his legendary career (30.3 points per game). In two of the last five years, he landed second in MVP voting. If he manages to stay healthy and solves the riddle that is this roster, award voters will be ready to shower him with praise.”
James is a four-time MVP. However, he hasn’t won an MVP since 2012-13. The King put up spectacular numbers last season, averaging 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists, but the Lakers won only 33 games and James played in just 56 contests due to injuries and a one-game suspension.
LeBron Would Tie Michael Jordan
If Buckley’s prediction comes to fruition, James would tie Chicago Bulls icon Michael Jordan with five regular-season MVPs. Jordan is James’ idol.
Utah Jazz legend Karl Malone is the oldest player to win MVP. He was 35 in 1998-99. James will turn 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 the 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 are more competitive than expected, he’ll have as good of a chance at securing that hardware than anyone,” Buckley wrote.
James has already teased Lakers fans this offseason. He played in the Drew League on July 16th and finished with 42 points, 16 rebounds, four steals and three assists. The four-time champion is 1,326 points away from passing Lakers great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.
LeBron Is Excited About Next Season
On June 13th, James posted a picture of himself flexing and yelling on his Instagram story with the caption, “Yeah I know I’m a lunatic to the grind!” The future Hall of Famer also published a second story on a black screen with the caption, “MAN I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE FALL! SO READY TO GET BACK OUT THERE! SO MOTIVATED.”
Since winning the championship in 2020, the Lakers have lost in the first round of the playoffs and failed to qualify for the play-in tournament. However, James is reportedly “extremely happy” in Los Angeles, according to a July 29th report from NBA insider Marc Stein. He signed a two-year, $97.1 million extension with the Lakers on August 18th.
James has played in 223 out 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 Chris Ballard of Sports Illustrated in August, LBJ said he “could play for quite a while.”
“I feel like I could play for quite a while. So it’s all up to the body, but more importantly, my mind,” James said. “If my mind can stay sharp and fresh and motivated, then the sky’s not even the limit for me. I can go beyond that. But we shall see.”