Every year there seems to be a debate among fans, pundits, and players as to who the best athlete in the NBA is. This is a debate that will stand the test of time and will continue to be relevant thanks to the wide variety of talent that is interspersed throughout the league. Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers has cemented himself as one of the best in the league so he has every right to speak on these matters with absolute authority. 

During a recent appearance on the Joe Budden Podcast, Lillard refuted a comment by Budden's co-host Mal, who said Russell Westbrook is the best in the league because of his stats. For Lillard, stats are a barometer for heart but not necessarily how good you are. When Mal asked Lillard who he thinks the best player is, he simply responded by saying it was LeBron James.

His answer isn't all that surprising when you consider just how much LeBron has done in the league over the years. He still managed to average 28 points per game last season, despite playing on a Lakers team that couldn't reach the playoffs. Some people have moved on from LeBron as a marquee player in the league, although it's clear his peers are still confident in his abilities.

Do you agree with Lillard? Let us know in the comments below.