Lebron James failed to get any MVP votes for the first time
For the first time in his two-decade career, LeBron James failed to get a single top-five MVP vote in the 2022-23 season. For 19 consecutive seasons, regardless of age, injuries or roster context, James garnered at least one MVP vote. However, when Joel Embiid was named the 2023 NBA MVP on Tuesday, the voter tally revealed that James didn’t receive a single vote on anyone’s five-man ballot. That left the Lakers superstar off of the NBA ballot entirely for the first time in his career. Considering the 27 games he missed and the depth of this season, it makes sense, but it’s yet another sign that the greatest player of his generation is nearing the end of his career. We may have seen the last MVP vote James will ever receive. He’s still fighting to win the 2023 championship, but his days of earning regular-season trophies are likely over.
James certainly put up his usual stellar numbers: 28.9 points per game, 8.3 rebounds, 6.8 assists. He even broke the NBA’s all-time scoring record this season. But he was limited to just 55 games, which tied for his fewest played in an 82-game season. The Los Angeles Lakers went 43-39 and earned the No. 7 playoff seed. The 38-year-old James is a four-time MVP (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013) and has four more runner-up finishes, three of them coming since his last MVP a decade ago. The fact he didn’t fall off the MVP ballot until his 20th season is just another reminder of his legendary talent and near-unprecedented longevity. Just because he didn’t win this year does not mean he doesn’t still have it in him. There are just younger prospects with more of a chance. LeBron had his time to shine and now it is other players turns.