It’s probably the biggest elephant in the room, but an NBA survey confirmed that most NBA general managers believe that LeBron James of the Miami Heat is the best basketball player in the planet.
In the annual survey from nba.com that queried all 30 GMs of the pro league, the Heat superstar garnered 89.7 per cent of the votes as the player whom GMs will sign “if they were starting a franchise today.” Sixty-nine per cent also agreed that James will win his fifth NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) trophy in the 2013-2014 season.
Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder got 6.9 per cent of the votes in the first question and 24.1 per cent in the MVP race query.
James was named the MVP in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013 and in the latter two, the 28-year-old led the Miami Heat to the NBA championship. James averaged 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 1.7 steals for the Heat last season.
In the same survey, James also finished first in the question, “Which player forces opposing coaches to make the most adjustments” with 66.7 per cent. Durant is 2nd (13.3 per cent) and Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers is 3rd (10.0 per cent).
Curiously, when asked “Which player would you want taking a shot with the game on the line?” most GMs answered Kevin Durant (39.3 per cent) and Kobe Bryant (32.1 per cent). James joined Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks at third with just 7.1 per cent of the votes.
Meanwhile, GMs were asked as well on which players are the finest in their respective positions. James topped the small forwards (86.7 per cent); Paul at point guard (70.0 per cent); James Harden of the Houston Rockets at shooting guard (56.7 per cent); Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs at power forward (31.0 per cent); and Dwight Howard of the Rockets at center (65.5 per cent).
On the international front, Tony Parker of France and San Antonio Spurs was voted as the best non-American player in the NBA with 53.3 per cent, followed by Marc Gasol of Spain and Memphis Grizzlies with 26.7 per cent and Dirk Nowitzki of Spain and Dallas Mavericks at 20.0 per cent.
The GMs were not permitted to vote for their own players in the survey. For complete list of all questions and answers, go to NBA.COM.