SLAM Ranks LeBron James No. 1 in 2017 Top 50 Players List | Cavaliers Nation
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SLAM Ranks LeBron James No. 1 in 2017 Top 50 Players List

LeBron's Status for Season Opener Still Undetermined

On Friday, SLAM completed its list of the top 50 players in the NBA and, once again, the basketball magazine expects LeBron James to be the No. 1 player in the league in the upcoming season.

To explain their decision, SLAM put James’ 2016-17 season into perspective:

“This, I think, is the best way to capture just how dominant LeBron James remains, even now, at the age of 32 and entering his 15th(!) NBA season: A 73-win juggernaut of a team felt it needed to recruit Kevin Durant, the second best player in the world, in order to stave off his challenge.”

The article went on to break down James’ insane stats in last year’s postseason. In the playoffs, James averaged 32.8 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 7.8 rebounds per game. The article noted that on top of that, James shot 56.5 percent from the field, 41 percent from three, and played an exhausting 41.3 minutes per game.

“Do you know how hard that is, to play that many minutes and carry that much of a load but also do so that efficiently? It’s literally unprecedented, as was his averaging a triple-double (33.6 PPG, 12 RPG, 10 APG) during the NBA Finals, and all that came after leading the League in minutes per game during the regular season (and Real Plus-Minus, by the way, so don’t worry about the slight downtick in numbers),” Yaron Weitzman wrote. “The dude’s a cyborg, only stronger and smarter.”

Finally, SLAM noted that this season, the Cleveland Cavaliers will likely lean on James even more as point guard Isaiah Thomas continues to recover from a lingering hip injury.

“And it’s a good thing, too, because with Kyrie (Irving) now gone, and Isaiah Thomas’ hip likely holding him out for a few months, the Cavs will be leaning even more on James. One of these years, he’s going to show signs of age and fatigue,” the article read. “He has to, right? Either way, that time, remarkable, appears to be years away. The Warriors may be the title favorite, but only because they amassed a collection of stars unlike anything the League has ever seen. That’s what it takes to beat LeBron James. There’s not another player in the world that can boast that claim.”

For James, these kinds of accolades pale in comparison to his true goal of winning another NBA championship. Still, it’s good to see that while some question whether or not the four-time NBA MVP is still the most dominant player in the league, SLAM knows that James is still The King.

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