If it's up to Chris Webber, LeBron James' reign at the top of his respective team's scoring list should come to end to ensure a fourth championship ring.
Speaking with the eponymous host of The Dan Patrick Show, the five-time NBA All-Star turned Turner Sports analyst opined that the Los Angeles Lakers' best chances of victory come not from being paced by James. Rather, Webber believes Anthony Davis should be the straw that stirs the yellow and purple drink.
"It's been 17, 18 years, nine Finals, all the things that he's done. I've said all preseason that if I were LeBron, I'd tried to get AD the MVP," Webber said. "If AD gets the MVP, that means AD is doing all types of incredible things, and you would tend to think LeBron's getting a little rest."
Webber theorizes that, in the eyes of James, the 82-game regular season is meaningless, and that the postseason should be his priority. Seeding hasn't often been a problem for James-led teams, as all but one of his nine conference champion squads were top-two finishers in the standings.
But, with Davis supposedly leading the way in the regular season, James can further be ready for the cutthroat world of the Wester Conference playoffs, Webber argues.
"If it's only about winning a championship, who cares about the regular season?" Webber rhetorically asks. "Get homecourt advantage, let AD be MVP and then you can be MVP in the playoffs, which is what you are: one of the greatest players ever."
The conversation with Patrick stemmed from the Lakers' 112-102 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers after Tuesday's opening night festivities. James had a double-double (18 point, 10 rebounds), but shot 7-of-19 from the field with five turnovers. Davis earned 25 points (8-of-21 shooting) and nine rebounds in defeat.
Webber noted that "no one was afraid of LeBron" when it came to the victorious Clippers.
"They didn't come double him. They knew he was going to pass when he got to the hole," Webber said of the 34-year-old star. "LeBron has to have nine layups, seven layups, to get 25 now, those type of things. (The game) is definitely slowing, but if there's any player that it should slow down for, it's LeBron. We don't want to believe because he's kept defying time and space...but it's going catch up to him sooner or later."
The Los Angeles arrival of Kawhi Leonard, who famously burst onto the scene with a strong defensive performance against James in the 2013 NBA Finals, only adds to the urgency of making James a second option, Webber says. Leonard is also part of the reason he believes the Clippers are the team to beat in the West.
Webber gave a firm "no" when Patrick inquired if the Lakers were second-best team in the West, citing the Denver Nuggets as his personal runner-up.
The Lakers return to action on Friday for a home tilt against the Utah Jazz.