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Stephen A. Smith thinks Lakers’ LeBron James is going to be a ‘monster’ next season

LeBron James

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith thinks Los Angeles Lakers superstar small forward LeBron James is going to be a “monster” next season.

James missed the playoffs last season for the first time since his second year in the NBA during his first stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The four-time MVP and three-time champion suffered a groin injury on Christmas Day against the Golden State Warriors and missed 17 consecutive games.

The Lakers went 6-11 during that stretch and fell out of the playoff race.

LeBron has been the best player in the NBA for over a decade, but since he missed the postseason last year, a lot of pundits are starting to put Kawhi Leonard and even others above The King in their player rankings.

Stephen A. says after a summer of rest and hearing people talking down on his name, James is going to be refreshed and lead the Lakers to the title in 2019-20.

“LeBron, 6-9, 260, oh by the way, first time hasn’t been in the Finals in nine years,” Smith said on ESPN’s First Take. “Now he got off in April, people talkin’ smack about him. I think LeBron gonna be a monster this year.”

James averaged 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists in his first season with the Lakers. If those are “washed numbers,” then LeBron has set the bar pretty high for himself.

The Lakers got James the second star he needs to win the ring in Anthony Davis. LeBron and AD are universally recognized as top-five players in the league.