In a move unlikely to stop the discussion as to who is the best player to have ever competed in the NBA, Michael Jordan beat LeBron James in a survey of current players published by The Atlantic. The sports news website polled 127 NBA players between March 16 and April 1 for its first ever anonymous player survey, asking a number of questions about the sport. The question as to which player had earned the right to be called the greatest player in history resulted in 73% of the respondents selecting Jordan, with 11.9% opting for James and 10.6% choosing Kobe Bryant.
The poll also saw Houston Rockets James Harden picked as the most likely to win MVP honors this season. Harden, who has already made history this season by scoring 30 or more points against all 29 other teams in a single season, tool the poll with 44.3% of the vote, with Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo just behind with 38.9% of the votes and Oklahoma City Thunder’s Paul George third with 12.7% of the vote. Antetokounmpo did top a poll for players who the respondents would build a new franchise around, on the back of a stand-out season for the Bucks.
The NBA season is now entering the play-off phase, as the game’s top players battle it out to lead their team to glory. One player who won’t be there this year, however, is LeBron James, whose LA Lakers failed to reach the postseason after a dismal second half of the regular season. In King James’ absence, there will be a host of top players looking to step up and challenge the Lakers man as the game’s best – with James Harden on course to cap off a truly sensational campaign from a personal point of view, in a Rockets team priced around 13/1 to now go on and win the championship.
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Back to the courts, the Golden State Warriors will be hoping to hit the jackpot for a fourth season from the past five. Stephen Curry and this Warriors team haven’t had things their own way this year, and this team look a lot more fallible than they have in recent years. That said, the Warriors experience of winning a championship and the quality of their roster make them strong favourites to defend their NBA title – something that is hard to argue against. The likes of Harden, Antetokounmpo and others will be determined to prove themselves as truly elite by leading their respective teams to the championship this season.