Although ranking the top 30 NBA players in today’s game is an incredibly difficult task, The Last Word on Pro Basketball staff has taken it on. Coming in at number 1 in the countdown is Los Angeles Lakers forward, LeBron James
James beat out Kevin Durant for first place by 18 votes and received eight of 13 total first-place votes.
Top 30 NBA Players
Number 1 – LeBron James
James grew up in Akron, Ohio, and played basketball at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. James was the clear number one prospect coming out of high school in 2003. With the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers truly won the lottery and selected LeBron James. Before he even made it to the NBA, James was twice named Mr. Basketball USA, won Naismith Prep Player of the Year, was a two-time Parade All-American, and a McDonald’s All-American Game MVP.
James has played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, and Los Angeles Lakers, spending the most years of his career playing for his hometown Cavaliers. James often brings comparisons to Michael Jordan and fans love debating who is the greatest player of all time. Either way, James is the consensus number one player in the NBA right now according to Last Word on Pro Basketball.
James has been able to do it all and do it all for a very long time. Throughout his career, James has averaged over 38 minutes and 27 points per game. The best part of James’ game is his ability to make his teammates better on a nightly basis. A career-high 10.6 assists in 2019 led the NBA and was the first time that James topped 10 assists per game in his career.
As time has passed, James not only became more efficient, but smarter as well. Although many players, coaches, and media members have criticized James and others for taking too many rest days, this has helped him stay fresh for long playoff runs. James was able to come back from a 3-1 NBA Finals deficit against the Golden State Warriors, a feat that had never been done before. No matter how long the season, durability has never been a question, especially for “Playoff LeBron”.
For our number one player, there are obviously not many weaknesses. Hairline aside, James’ biggest knock is his clutch shooting and his three-point shot. James often has difficulty in the clutch during the regular season, but those issues usually go away in the playoffs. James has also been under fire before for his 3-6 record in the NBA Finals. Rarely will a player be able to make nine finals appearances, let alone make eight straight Finals. The comparison to Jordan will always loom over James’ head, even if he manages to end up winning another ring or topping the all-time points list.
LeBron James Career Accolades
Where do we start? James is a three-time NBA Champion, winning the NBA Finals in 2012, 2013, and 2016 and winning Finals MVP in all three of his wins. James has also won the NBA Most Valuable Player award four times and is a 16-time All-Star. In those 16 NBA All-Star Game appearances, James has won All-Star Game MVP three times. In 2008, James won his one and only scoring title by putting up 30 points per game.
Additionally, James has been voted to All-NBA First Team 12 times, doing so for 11 straight years from 2008-18. James was also voted to All-NBA Second Team twice and All-NBA Third Team once. Showing his defensive prowess as well, James made the All-Defensive First Team for five straight seasons from 2009-13 and NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2014.
To top it all off, James was named to NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2004 and was the NBA Rookie of the Year that season as well.
Last Word on Pro Basketball Top 30 Ballots
We believe in full transparency in the top 30 NBA player rankings so we are going to disclose the ballots of our player rankings and where each contributor had each player ranked.
Tyler Marling – Site Manager – 1st
Chase Gage – Managing Editor – 2nd
David Knight – Marketing Manager – 2nd
Zack Kircher – Associate Editor – 1st
Matthew Waldman – Associate Editor – 2nd
David Ward – Associate Editor – 1st
Avinash Chauhan – Contributor – 1st
Adam Zigner – Contributor – 4th
Albert Dadson – Contributor – 1st
Dylan Guest – Contributor – 1st
Raheem Bashir – Contributor – 1st
Nathan Levine – Contributor – 2nd
Bill Huan – Contributor – 1st
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