3. He is elevating his teammates like never before
Another thing that has been used against LeBron James for most of his career is that he is a bad teammate. That he would set franchises up to fail by convincing the front office to take on terrible contracts before spurning them in free agency.
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Did that happen? Yes. And there has been a history of players getting rotated in and out of LeBron’s teams, especially after his first Cleveland stint, as he seemingly got a bigger say in the roster.
You cannot make that bad teammate case whatsoever in year 17. Even if it was a bit overblown already, James has been nothing but a sensational teammate and has elevated his teammates and the result has been a team that is overperforming.
I mean just look at the roster. It helps that the team has two of the top-five players in the league and we cannot ignore that, but the depth around James and Anthony Davis has really played up to their potential and has surprised a lot of people.
Dwight Howard was viewed as a lost cause, JaVale McGee is a veteran-minimum value center, Avery Bradley‘s career as a difference-maker seemed to be over, Alex Caruso is a G League feel-good story, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has really righted his ship this season and if Markieff Morris and Dion Waiters make a difference then it would be the icing on the cake.
Let’s not forget the narrative after the Los Angeles Lakers missed out on Kawhi Leonard. The story was that the Lakers missed out on all of the valuable free agents and had to piece together an unconventional lineup.
While not all of the credit can be given to LeBron James, the Los Angeles Lakers have been so dominant this year because the depth has stepped up, and as we see in all sports, it all starts with the leadership.