Who will dethrone the King?

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Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James

For at least the last 6 years, LeBron James has been King of the basketball world. Yes, “King” may be a pretty strong word….but it’s never been so fitting. LeBron has dominated the NBA game from every aspect, in a way only a King can do. As with every King, he had his highs and lows. But not once in the last 6 years has anybody else worn his crown. But this thing called time…..it never loses.

So while LeBron has been wrecking the league on his own behalf, his body has slowly been wearing away by the hands of time. So now, with LeBron entering his 14th season and on the verge of turning 32 years old, his time at the top is nearing its end. It may not be this season, but (as all great Kings know) all reigns must come to an end.

The question, therefore, is not IF he loses his crown, but WHO will be the next one to wear it. Who, in this star-heavy league, is ready to become the next face of the NBA?

LeBron James Stephen Curry

Well…..to put it simply…..I don’t know.

You see, it could be Steph Curry. The guys who won back to back MVPs and led his team to a historic regular season run. I mean, most people agree he is the best shooter in basketball. It wouldn’t be too far-fetched to say he is the next great generational player. But there’s a problem... and his name is Kevin Durant. Steph will not have as many touches, and he will not have as many chances to shine. KD will be the go-to guy now. Steph’s numbers will surely take a hit.

<p>Player</p><p>G</p><p>W</p><p>L</p><p>GS</p><p>MP</p><p>FG</p><p>FGA</p><p>FG%</p><p>3P</p><p>3PA</p><p>3P%</p><p>FT</p><p>FTA</p><p>FT%</p><p>ORB</p><p>DRB</p><p>TRB</p><p>AST</p><p>STL</p><p>BLK</p><p>TOV</p><p>PF</p><p>PTS</p>

LeBron James

9

5

4

9

39.2

10.9

21.0

.519

1.6

5.0

.311

6.6

9.2

.711

1.0

6.3

7.3

7.1

1.3

1.3

3.8

1.2

29.9

Stephen Curry

9

4

5

9

37.3

7.7

14.8

.519

3.1

6.3

.491

3.3

3.7

.909

0.6

3.8

4.3

6.8

1.7

0.1

3.2

3.0

21.8

You could say KD. Most wouldn’t argue with you. After all, I did just say he was the new go-to guy in Golden State. If the Warriors win a few championships, all seems well right? Except that his numbers will inevitably drop too. And, more importantly, he never showed any of us that he could get it done with the tools that he had. KD joined a team with no pressure for him to perform, a team where he could sit along for the ride towards a championship. That doesn’t sound like a King to me.

<p>Player</p><p>G</p><p>W</p><p>L</p><p>GS</p><p>MP</p><p>FG</p><p>FGA</p><p>FG%</p><p>3P</p><p>3PA</p><p>3P%</p><p>FT</p><p>FTA</p><p>FT%</p><p>ORB</p><p>DRB</p><p>TRB</p><p>AST</p><p>STL</p><p>BLK</p><p>TOV</p><p>PF</p><p>PTS</p>

LeBron James

16

13

3

16

38.1

10.9

20.9

.519

1.9

5.1

.370

5.6

7.2

.783

1.1

5.5

6.6

7.1

2.3

0.9

3.6

1.7

29.3

Kevin Durant

16

3

13

16

39.8

9.9

20.6

.482

2.1

4.9

.418

7.0

8.3

.848

0.8

5.6

6.3

3.6

1.3

1.0

3.7

2.4

28.9

But then there’s a guy like Russell Westbrook, who finds himself abandoned in the city he loves. We haven’t seen this type of passion since the likes of Kobe himself, and surely this is his time to make more noise than he ever has before. But to be the King, your team has to win. Not every year, no. But to be the King of basketball, you need to have at least one ring on your finger. And truthfully, it is hard to picture the Thunder winning a championship anytime soon.

<p>Player</p><p>G</p><p>W</p><p>L</p><p>GS</p><p>MP</p><p>FG</p><p>FGA</p><p>FG%</p><p>3P</p><p>3PA</p><p>3P%</p><p>FT</p><p>FTA</p><p>FT%</p><p>ORB</p><p>DRB</p><p>TRB</p><p>AST</p><p>STL</p><p>BLK</p><p>TOV</p><p>PF</p><p>PTS</p>

LeBron James

14

12

2

14

38.1

11.0

21.2

.519

2.1

5.2

.397

5.4

7.1

.750

1.1

5.7

6.8

7.6

2.4

1.0

3.6

1.7

29.4

Russell Westbrook

14

2

12

13

35.6

6.2

17.9

.347

0.8

2.6

.306

6.8

7.9

.856

2.1

3.1

5.1

6.9

2.1

0.3

3.4

3.1

20.0

When you think about it, there’s also a guy like Anthony Davis. we have seen the way he changes a game. Right now, I’m not sure anyone can match his talent level. But health is a factor to being the best as well. And Davis can’t seem to get enough healthy seasons in him to really be the player everyone knows he can be.

So when you ask me who will be the next face and best player of basketball after LeBron James retires, I will only have one answer for you. I don’t know. But that’s okay. It;s moments like these that make the NBA truly special. Moments when we get the chance to witness greatness transform before our very eyes.

LeBron likely has a season or two of being truly dominant. And while his reign at the top has been something special, what’s next might be even better. Who will rise from the legacy of King James and forge a new age of NBA basketball we haven’t seen before. Who will become the greatest player of the next generation? Who will dethrone the King?

CHECK: What LeBron need to overpass MJ?