LeBron James has been on the decline since his first year with the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, this season is looking to be different as rival general managers have taken a risk by trying to acquire him in hopes of winning their respective championship.

Despite the fact that LeBron James is entering his 37th season with plenty of playing time under his belt, the Los Angeles Lakers star remains one of the league’s most dominating forces.

Before spraining his ankle at the end of March, James was one of the leading contenders for league MVP. He demonstrated that the passage of time had no effect on his ability to be the greatest player in the NBA.

After a heartbreaking first-round loss last season, LeBron will undoubtedly be eager to bring another title to the Purple and Gold. Why, however, would rival GMs offer LBJ even more ammo by neglecting to recognize him as a top MVP contender?

In the general manager survey for 2021-22, LeBron James got zero MVP votes.

When healthy, LeBron James has never finished worse than sixth in NBA MVP voting. During the 2019-20 season, he finished second to Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, and he also finished second to James Harden in his last season with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017-18.

Isn’t it safe to assume that James’ pedigree earned him at least one MVP vote in this year’s preseason general manager poll? No, no, and no.

According to NBA.com’s John Schuhmann, rival general managers have given LA the second-best chances of winning the 2021-22 NBA championship. Despite the fact that opposing executives think the Lakers are the most dangerous team in the Western Conference, they do not believe LeBron James will be a genuine MVP candidate.

In the poll, James did not earn a single vote for MVP. Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets got 37 percent of the vote, while Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks received 33 percent.

Award selection is an inexact science, and the NBA now has a wealth of top talent. Nikola Jokic, the reigning MVP, did not get a single vote. Incentivizing James, a highly driven person, to go out and show he is still the greatest basketball player on the world, rival GMs are flirting with danger.

This summer, James is already saving the receipts from the skeptics.

Consider this new rejection as more fuel for LeBron James’ fury.

After an ESPN poll failed to recognize him as one of the greatest players in the NBA, James went on a social media rage. He mocked the “Washed King” nickname and expressed gratitude for the extra incentive for the 2021-22 season.

LeBron’s name has gained some respect as a result of this recent poll. Rival general managers voted James the league’s greatest passer and most versatile player, as well as the player with the highest basketball IQ. Nonetheless, it’s difficult to dismiss the widespread opinion among NBA officials that LBJ is no longer the league’s “King.”

External sources have provided further gasoline to LeBron. But he’s still pursuing his spot in NBA history, and he’ll no doubt find inspiration from inside.

a source of inspiration that is more intrinsic

On September 28, 2021, in El Segundo, California, LeBron James watches at the Los Angeles Lakers Media Day at UCLA Health Training Center | Getty Images/Harry How

The “GOAT” issue is a purely subjective and arbitrary discussion. However, the ongoing rivalry between LeBron James and Michael Jordan likely fuels LBJ’s desire to equal MJ’s achievements, which makes this latest MVP rejection all the more intriguing.

Jordan won five league MVP titles throughout his illustrious career. LeBron James has four assists. Another MVP brings King James level with His Airness, while another championship ring brings LBJ one ring closer to Jordan’s total.

Rival GMs’ survey choices were most likely done with honesty. Still, giving James additional incentive to dive deep when he’s already attempting to secure his position as the greatest player in the sport’s history may be dangerous.

Basketball Reference provided the accolades.

RELATED: LeBron James Didn’t Team Up With DeMar DeRozan This Offseason, But He Did Show Him The Ultimate Respect