LeBron James’ Curious All-NBA Case


Members of the 100 annual All-NBA Voting Panel recently said in a prominent podcast: [James] I am doing a warrant first team. It’s not near me either. He will get one of those two guard spots.

That was on March 21st when the Los Angeles Lakers of James finished ninth at the Western Conference with a 31-41 record. Since then, they have lost six games in a row, lost two games from the play-in tournament, and have four games left on schedule. I’m not sure if these locks are still valid, but the feeling that James will secure one of the league’s 15 All-NBA roster spots to play for a team that could lose 50 games is still widespread. increase.

This is not unprecedented, but it is unusual, especially in the most talented times of sport. Appointing James to the All-NBA Team this season is about accepting statistics and qualifications in a way that betrays the contribution of victory and the very reason many have historically used to exclude players. Will be.

Intertwined web of statistics, wins, and All-NBA voting

Take the Washington Wizards Guard Bradley Beal as an example. With an average of 30.5 points (46/35/84 shoot splits), 4.2 rebounds and 6.1 assists, he scored 35% of the game and failed to qualify for the playoffs in 2020. He has been excluded from the All-NBA Third Team. The favor of Guard Ben Simmons and Russell Westbrook, who played off the season with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Houston Rockets, respectively.

A year later, Beer averaged nearly the same 31-5-4 in a 49/35/89 split, creating a third team in a similar candidate field. The Sub.500 Wizards squeaky in the play-in tournament made a difference.

Another prominent All-NBA voter recently placed Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant on Team 1 or 2 this year, depending on whether he reached the 55-game benchmark. I suggested that. This ignores the impact of Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum in another 23 games. Durant played 51 out of 78 games and played 74 in Tatam with 79 chances. The difference could be the total of nine victories that divide the two teams. (James played 56 games.)

It’s hard to wonder if members of the voting panel will apply different sets of criteria depending on the player’s past contributions. All awards can be subjective, and the All-NBA specifically depends on what you consider to be the spirit of honor. But when you start weaving a story, be consistent with the rationale. Who will win if losing is less important than beer or tatam for a candidate for James or Durant?

Hyundai Sub .400 All NBA Club

Since the league merged with the ABA in 1976, only 37 players have been selected for the All-NBA Team, making it a roster of teams with less than .500 records (an average of less than one per year). .. The list already includes James, who created the Lakers third team with 37 wins in 2019. Surprisingly, he and Anthony Davis are the last two players to be named to the All-NBA of the team that finished in 10th place or lower.

As FiveThirtyEight predicted, if the Lakers finish at 32-50, a finer border will be drawn with a win rate of .390. Only 22 of the 283 players who made the All-NBA roster in the league’s 75-year history, and only nine since the merger, did so for teams that won less than 40% of the game. ..

  • DeMarcus Cousins (2015 2nd team)
    2014-15 Sacramento Kings (29-53) 59 games: 47/25/78 split 24-13-4

  • Kevin love (2012 2nd team)
    2011-12 Minnesota Timberwolves (26-40) 55 games: 45/37/82 split 26-13-2

  • Kevin Garnett (2007 3rd team)
    2006-07 Minnesota Timberwolves (32-50) 76 games: 48/21/84 split 22-13-4

  • Tracy McGrady (2004 2nd team)
    2003-04 Orlando Magic (21-61) 67 games: 42/34/80 split 28-6-6

  • Stephon Marbury (2000 third team)
    1999-2000 New Jersey Nets (31-51) 74 games: 43/28/81 split 22-3-8

  • Antonio McDyess (1999 3rd team)
    1998-99 Denver Nuggets (14-36) 50 games: 47/11/68 split 21-11-2

  • Mitch Richmond (2nd team in 1994, 3rd team in 1998)
    1993-94 Sacramento Kings (28-54) 78 games: 45/41/83 split 23-4-4
    1997-98 Sacramento Kings (27-55) 70 games: 45/39/867 split 23-3-4

  • Bernard King (1st team in 1985, 3rd team in 1991)
    55 games of the 1984-85 New York Knicks (24-58): 53-6-4 in the 53/10/77 split
    1990-91 Washington Wizards (30-52) 64 games: 47/22/79 split 28-5-5

  • Adrian Dantley (Team 2 in 1981)
    1980-81 Utah Jazz (28-54) 80 games: 56/29/81 split 31-6-4

All-NBA Score Title Ticket

McGrady, King, and Dantley all won scoring titles in the sub.400 All-NBA season. The scoring title means an automatic entry (and often a first team invitation) to the All-NBA roster for all but two instances. Elvin Hayes failed to win one of the two All-NBA Center Spots when he scored an average of 28.4 points per game leading the league as a rookie in the 37-win San Diego Clippers in 1969. Bob McAdoo was unable to secure one of the two center spots. In 1976, when his 31.1 points per game led the 46-win Buffalo Braves NBA.

James, who has played 56 games this season and missed three of the last four games due to an ankle injury, will need to play two more games in the last three Lakers games to score a scoring title. (He was excluded in the match against Phoenix Suns on Tuesday.) His 30.3 points per match are currently the NBA’s top three MVP candidates Joel Embiid (30.2 PPG) and Janis Adetokumpo (30.2 PPG). It is slightly higher than 30.1).

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James could be the tenth player in modern history to create an All-NBA roster for a 50-loss team.  (Jason Miller / Getty Images)

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James could be the tenth player in modern history to create an All-NBA roster for a 50-loss team. (Jason Miller / Getty Images)

All NBA Legacy Voting

James enjoys a better career than any of the nine players listed above, and his number this year (30-8-6 in the 52/36/76 shooting split) is also their sub.400. Definitely better than any of the oars-NBA season. James is ranked in the top 5 players with advanced stats covering almost everything except winning shares and actual pluses and minuses, and is in the bottom half of the top 20. He has been discussing numbers and has been around for nearly 20 years. -The long history of winning games can give voters permission to ignore all losses.

The opposite was true, as Devin Booker last season averaged 26-4-4 on the up-and-coming Phoenix Suns 48/34/87 split. A worthy past defeat season in his career has almost certainly contributed to his 10th place finish in the All-NBA voting guards. He averaged 27-5-5 in the more established Sands 46/38/87 split this season, which is surprising if he hasn’t been named to the All-NBA’s first or second team. am.

If a journey to establish a legacy to the finals is needed to swing the story of the rising star in favor of the All-NBA consideration, would the same delay apply to the greatest player ever on the other side of the spectrum? If the nova waits another year for the All-NBA review, but finally receives an additional nod, will it all be even in the end? Or does the whole system (a system with tens of millions of dollars flowing) lose its meaning?

James is the most used player in the NBA’s 23rd place attack. The Lakers act like an offense in 19th place when James is on the court and an offense in 27th place when he’s on the bench. The Lakers are also ranked 23rd in defense this season, deteriorating 4.1 points per 100 possessions. This is the difference between the 8th and 26th place defenses in the league, with James on the floor. He has the first negative net rating since the rookie season when his Cleveland Cavaliers won 35 games.

James posted a 50 point game in March in 6 days. This also included the DNP rest. But for all the dynamic offensive performance, there is a long stretch where he completely opts out of defense. It should be expected that the 37-year-old 37-year-old sits for 36,174 careers due to the loss of 19 seasons.

The weirdness of a terrible team all-timer

Of the 34 best players in NBA history, one has played at least 50 games for the Sub.400 team in his prime only three times: Wilt Chamberlain’s 1962-63 San Francisco Warriors (31-49) ), Garnett 2006-07 Minnesota Timberwolves (32-50) and Dwyane Wade 2007-08 Miami Heat (15-67). Chamberlain was accused of scoring the highest 44.8 points in the NBA instead of winning basketball in 1963. Ricky Davis is a Minute Leader, both ’07 Timber Wolves and ’08 Heat.

Every other sub-400 season from the NBA icon went out of his prime (or in the case of Michael Jordan, when a broken leg was limited to seven starts during the 1985-86 season). The line is decisive.

Kobe Bryant lost more than 55 games in each of the last three seasons after the Achilles tendon rupture. Kevin Durant lost a total of 121 games in the first two seasons. Moses Malone’s four 50-defeat seasons all went out of the ages of 23-35. Stephen Curry didn’t start winning 35% of his game until his third season. Dirk Nowitzki lost more than 40% of the game at the ages of 20 and 39, never in the meantime. Janis Adetokumpo lost 67 games as a rookie. Elgin Baylor lost 50 in his second season. Garnet lost 56 games as a 19-year-old rookie and 53 games as a 39-year-old veteran. John Havlicek, Isiah Thomas and Scottie Pippen did not lose more than 50 games until the final season. Allen Iverson lost 111 games in the first two seasons and 55 games in the final season.

Of those 24 50-defeat campaigns, only Baylor’s 1959-60 season deserved the All-NBA in the eight-team league.

Evidence shows the dawn of James’ post-prime era. However, none of those legends won the scoring title in his sub.400 season. It raises some questions for All-NBA voters who want to push James into the crowded territory of good team candidates. How much do you weigh between individual production and team success? And does career achievement affect how that weight is applied to the honor of a single season?

“It’s ridiculous not to carry him.”

Eight of the 12 All-NBA Guards and Forwards (Curry, Booker, Antetokunpo, Durant, Luca Donchitch, Jamoran, Jayson Tatum, Demade Lausin) before considering the contributions of Tray Young, Chris Paul, Donovan Mitchell and Jimmy Butler. To more than .500 teams including Pascal Siakam, Zach LaVine, Dejounte Murray, Jrue Holiday and more. Not to mention the discussion of including Nikola Jokić as the first team alongside Joel Embiid to create a fourth center spot beyond Karl-Anthony Towns.

This does not mean that James is not worth considering. His participation in the conversation at the age of 37 is another achievement worth celebrating, except for the respect paid in his past. I’m having a hard time following the logic of voters who have referred to defeat as a reason for exclusion from the award in the past.

“I know it’s Revlon and I’m supposed to bring a veil of ignorance,” one of the aforementioned voters said in the same podcast. “Do I take into account the man’s legacy? Do you take into account the man’s contribution to the game, his incumbent in the hall of the hall? I do. In this case, I do, And few people in the league I do have a subjective measure. I understand. It’s me as a voter who makes the editorial decisions. “

“I did the same when I put Lebron on the second team last year, but some people didn’t have him,” his fellow panelists replied. “And my rationale was,’He’s LeBron James. It’s ridiculous not to carry him.'”

It wonders if the All-NBA is really a democratic endeavor when the king can lose and win.

– – – – – – –

I’m a staff writer for Yahoo Sports. Do you have a hint? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.