Yahoo Sports senior NBA writer Vincent Goodwill is joined by The Athletic’s David Aldridge to discuss how the Los Angeles Lakers superstar is impressing this season and James chances of winning his first MVP since 2013. Hear the full conversation on “Good Word with Goodwill” - part of the “Ball Don’t Lie” podcast - and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen.
VINCENT GOODWLL: Is there a path for LeBron James to win MVP number five making him the oldest MVP in NBA history? LeBron did win the in-season tournament MVP, which was a seven game sample size.
DAVID ALDRIDGE: Of course, he could win it. Sure. You could vote for LeBron every year and be justified. Nobody's going to demand to know who voted for LeBron James for MVP.
Like, no, I mean, come on. You can make an argument for LeBron all the time. He's that great. He's consistently great.
Nobody says LeBron isn't impactful. He may not score 30 every night, but he's damn sure impactful every night. I don't know what his numbers were against New Orleans, but he was impactful, took three charges in the first half and set the tone, like this is, no, this is what we're doing tonight, fellas, you know, what I mean? That's what I'm talking about.
That's what great players do. They're like, this is what you're not going to be able to do tonight against me. And so whatever LeBron's numbers are, you always know when 23 is on the court. That's what I'm saying. So can you vote for him for MVP to answer your question, yeah, of course, you can, sure. He's always a legitimate MVP candidate.
I would argue that they're fourth in the West. I mean, that does matter some. It's not golf or tennis. This is not an individual sport as much as we try to make it into that. It is about the team you're on too.
So the record does matter. Is it first on my list? No, but it matters. It does matter. You do have to take that into account.
VINCENT GOODWLL: At this stage of his career, I'm amazed that he can take a game-- maybe it's like for a five-minute stretch, DA-- he can take a game and put a certain level of force on it and make the game his. Like Jayson Tatum may be a better player. Kevin Durant I believe is a better player.
So is John, and so is a couple others. LeBron's no longer at the top of the heap, but I don't know if there is a single player who can take the game and just mold it the way that it needs to be molded for four to five minutes on both ends of the floor, both physically and mentally just controlling and dictating tempo. Yeah, that's the thing, DA, that amazes me the most for him at this stage.