Los Angeles Lakers: 2018-19 player grades for LeBron James

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Digital First Media/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)
(Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Digital First Media/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images) /


The “best player in the world” title that seemed to be LeBron’s sole property for about a decade may not be his anymore.

Younger rivals like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Curry and James Harden have all put in strong applications recently, and even some of LeBron’s biggest fans are acknowledging that his reign as “The Man” may have ended.

No matter where you believe LeBron ranks among the NBA’s hierarchy in terms of talent or production, however, he is still undeniably the public face of the league.

To that end, LeBron made the Lakers relevant again just by putting on the purple-and-gold uniform this season. That’s a plus.

At 34 years old, LeBron’s game isn’t going to change much. Anyone who has watched him play at his peak knows what he does well and what he brings to the Lakers. He is still one of the best scorers, passers and clutch performers on the planet, with a basketball IQ that few can match.

Had he appeared in enough games to qualify, LeBron would have ranked fifth in the NBA in scoring (27.4 points per game) and third in assists (8.3 per game). He still gets buckets in an efficient manner, with powerhouse drives to the rim, cautiously-selected jump shots, post-ups, transition finishes and free throws.

LeBron racks up assists by directing the offense like Peyton Manning on the hardwood, using his elite passing ability and court vision to find the right teammate at the right moment.

For whatever success the Lakers did have this season before things fell apart, LeBron deserves a big chunk of the credit.