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LeBron fueled by snub in NBA best player poll

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(FILES) In this file photo taken on May 30, 2021, LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after the Phoenix Suns make a basket during the second half of Game Four of the Western Conference first-round playoff series against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. – LeBron James is taking issue with a pre-season poll that doesn’t give him a vote in the discussion about who is the NBA’s best player entering the 2021-22 campaign. An ESPN survey of 10 NBA executives and scouts was evenly split between US Olympic hero Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets and Greek star Giannis Antetokounmpo, who led the Milwaukee Bucks to their first NBA crown in 50 years. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP)

LeBron James is taking issue with a pre-season poll that doesn’t give him a vote in the discussion about who is the NBA’s best player entering the 2021-22 campaign.

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An ESPN survey of 10 NBA executives and scouts was evenly split between US Olympic hero Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets and Greek star Giannis Antetokounmpo, who led the Milwaukee Bucks to their first NBA crown in 50 years.

While a story with the survey said 36-year-old James was the only other name brought up by anyone, an honourable mention wasn’t good enough for Los Angeles Lakers star James, a four-time NBA champion, four-time NBA Most Valuable Player and four-time NBA Finals MVP.

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“THANK YOU!” James tweeted Thursday. “As if I didn’t need more to (fuel) ME!” with a gas pump emoji symbolizing the snub’s energizing impact.

James averaged 25.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 1.1 steals a game last season for the Lakers, who lost in the first round of the playoffs to NBA Finals loser Phoenix. It marked the first time in his career that James went out in the opening round of the playoffs.

The Lakers, who lost Anthony Davis to a strained groin in that first-round series while leading 2-1, added playmaker Russell Westbrook to the lineup for the upcoming season as they seek a second NBA crown in three seasons.

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