By Muhammed Enes Calli
ANKARA (AA) – One month ago, New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry had shared high praise for Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James' outstanding form in a post-game interview as LeBron played one more impressive games of the season against the Pelicans.
He had posted a triple-double with 34 points, 13 assists, and 12 rebounds while the Lakers defeated the Pelicans 122-114 on March 2.
"I'm just amazed that they talk about anybody other than him for MVP," Gentry said.
"That's what he does. Every team that he's been to, every team that he's gone have a chance to win the championship. To me, I'm not sure what the definition of MVP is, but he makes everyone on his team better, makes it difficult for everybody playing him."
Gentry was not the only people who believe that LeBron would have been MVP award since he averaged 25.7 points, 11 rebounds, and 7.9 assists to lead the Lakers to sit top of the Western Conference this season.
With the great combination of LeBron and Anthony Davis, Lakers had been considered one of the favorite teams to lift the NBA championship but the world rapidly changed short after Gentry’s comments on LeBron’s performance.
The new coronavirus hit the world, killing thousands of people across the globe so far and along with other major sports events, the NBA has been suspended.
There are still questions whether the NBA will be resumed or completely canceled, the regular season will be completed but it was certain that the Lakers increasingly had a great chance to end their 10-year title drought.
They defeated, their potential rivals in the final, Milwaukee Bucks 113-103 at the Staples Center on March, 7 proving that they deserve to be the NBA's title winner favorite.
Before the league has been suspended, the Lakers had a 49-14 record, becoming second in the league overall, behind the Bucks.
A sports journalist, Howard Beck from the Bleacher Report, says the Lakers would have a big chance to lift the NBA title if the season had continued as scheduled.
"If this season is canceled, it might wipe out LeBron's last chance at a championship. He was having an MVP-caliber season, and the Lakers had a very good shot at winning the championship," Beck said to Anadolu Agency in an email.
LeBron, 35, would become the oldest NBA player to win the MVP award since Karl Malone in 1999. He would also make his way into history by winning this award for the fifth time in his career, equaling him with the legends Bill Russell and Michael Jordan.
"LeBron turns 36 in December. He'll be playing in his 18th season. There's no guarantee he can play at this level for a full season again." Beck said.
The Eastern Conference leaders Milwaukee Bucks also another coronavirus victim franchise as they were dominating the league with reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo before the season was suspended.
''It would also be a blow to the Milwaukee Bucks, who were having their best season in 50 years," he said.
The Bucks won their only title in the 1970-1971 season.
– The fate of NBA this season unclear
As the coronavirus continues to spread across the U.S., the future of NBA current season is doubtful, and it is still unclear if the games will be played without fans.
''Everything now depends on how quickly the U.S. can get the infection under control. We have major cities, even entire states, now on lockdown. The NBA cannot possibly contemplate playing games again until our society returns to normal. Could the NBA play games in private gyms, with no fans? Maybe,'' Beck said.
Since the coronavirus has not been under control, Beck believes that it is early to discuss the fate of the NBA.
''It's just too soon to speculate how long this will all last, or how soon the NBA can resume games, or what the playoffs will look like, or when the season will conclude.
''I don't think the NBA will resume until public-health officials and elected leaders give approval for mass gatherings again. It's not going to be the NBA's call,'' he said.