NBA legend Magic Johnson: LeBron James is the favorite to win MVP

Brian Sozzi

The most popular Los Angeles Laker of all time (sorry, Kobe) is still closely watching his favorite team.

And he likes what he has seen early on in the NBA season.

“Their start is amazing,” NBA Hall of Famer and long-time Laker Magic Johnson told Yahoo Finance on the sidelines of the 29th Annual Achilles Gala. The Lakers currently has the best record in the NBA at 12-2 and are in first place in the West Conference standings.

No doubt powering the Lakers’ surprising turnaround after a dismal season a year ago is the great LeBron “King” James. James is arguably having one of his finest seasons at the battle tested age of 34. Through 14 games, James is averaging 25.5 points per game and is leading the league with 11.1 assists a game.

Earlier this week, James became the only player in NBA history to notch a triple-double against every team.

“Lebron is playing at an MVP type level. I think he is the favorite right now to win the MVP,” Johnson says.

Former NBA player Magic Johnson reacts as he talks with Eastern Conference LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers (23) during the first half of the NBA All-Star basketball game in New Orleans, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Recall it was Johnson — then president of basketball operations for the Lakers — who signed James in July 2018 to a four-year, $153.3 million deal. Since Johnson’s abrupt departure from that role in April of this year, the Lakers have added young phenom Anthony Davis.

Johnson thinks the arrival of Davis has given the Lakers the one-two punch it needed in the ultra competitive Western Conference.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-anchor of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @BrianSozzi

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