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LeBron James predicted to win MVP by ESPN

LeBron James, Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers will kick off their regular season on October 18th on the road against the Portland Trail Blazers. With part of the NBA schedule released Wednesday, Lakers fans finally know how long they’ll have to wait to see LeBron James in a Lakers uniform for his first official regular-season game with the franchise.

The Lakers now possess the undisputed best player on the planet, and with his new team and this Western Conference challenge he’ll thrive on facing, ESPN has predicted James will be dominant yet again and win next season’s NBA MVP award.

ESPN’s MVP forecast looks like:

  1. LeBron James | SF | Lakers
    First-place votes: 39.4%
    Total points: 85
  2. Anthony Davis | F/C | Pelicans
    First-place votes: 30.3%
    Total points: 64
  3. Kevin Durant | SF | Warriors
    First-place votes: 12.1%
    Total points: 43
  4. James Harden | G | Rockets
    First-place votes: 6%
    Total points: 38
  5. Giannis Antetokounmpo | F | Bucks
    First-place votes: 0%
    Total points: 19
  6. Stephen Curry | PG | Warriors
    First-place votes: 3%
    Total points: 12
  7. Kawhi Leonard | SF | Raptors
    First-place votes: 6%
    Total points: 11

It’s no surprise James is a favorite, as he will always be in the conversation until he shows any signs of erosion. What is surprising, however, is the three-time champion hasn’t won the award since 2012 when he was a member of the Miami Heat.

In truth it’s bizarre, as James continues to show us that he’s the most valuable player this game has ever seen. His carrying power is unmatched, and he continues to showcase it postseason after postseason.

Playing in the weaker Eastern Conference for the entirety of his career up until this point allowed James to cruise through the regular season and up his production in the playoffs because he knew it didn’t matter where his team was seeded. James still has that faith in his ability, but seeding in the Western Conference matters a great deal more, so it will be up to James to have his foot on the gas the entire campaign, increasing his chances of taking home the MVP award.

It won’t be easy, as the kid from Akron will be up against other worthy candidates who all want to hoist the trophy. New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis, Houston Rockets star and reigning MVP James Harden, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant, and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo are all players who will no doubt make a run for the award. And don’t forget about two-time MVP Stephen Curry.

Many argue James should have won the award last season, as he averaged career highs in rebounds and assists in his 15th season, but was outvoted by an incredible season from Harden. The playoffs proved who truly was the league’s most valuable, as James turned superhuman in carrying the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA Finals.

In truth, we’ve become accustomed to James’ greatness, but look for him to do everything in his power to win the award this upcoming season.