1. LeBron James
This should be the only spot on this list that’s not open to debate. LeBron James is the best all-around player in the NBA, meaning obviously he’s also the best the East has to offer. LeBron is one of the better players in league history too, although that’s a debate for another day.
There’s plenty of evidence displaying just how dominant LeBron is, but these few examples should suffice. He’s beaten every other team in the East out and gone to the NBA Finals for six straight seasons now–longer than many other players on this list have even been in the NBA.
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LeBron averaged 25.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.6 blocks on 52 percent field goal shooting last season, and that was him in chill mode. In the postseason, those numbers increased to 26.3 points, 9.5 rebounds, 7.6 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.3 blocks per game.
In the NBA Finals, those numbers increased again, up to 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, 8.9 assists, 2.6 steals and 2.3 blocks per game. He led all players on both teams in each of those statistics, which sounds impossible but actually happened.
His unprecedented performance was enough to lead the Cavs back from a 3-1 deficit to win the Finals, which had never happened before. He beat a team that won 73 games in the regular season, something that had also never happened before.
They call him King James for a reason. It might be a while still before LeBron James lets another player in the Eastern Conference–or the NBA–snatch his crown.