Listen up, I realize that a LeBron James MVP fatigue exists to the point where you can almost grab it. But come on y’all, let a legend become legendary.
Kevin Durant is doing great things and carrying Oklahoma City to the top of the league once again, but what does LeBron have to do to make you understand that he simply has no NBA peer?
LeBron is shooting 58% from the floor this season. Have we ever seen a player that didn’t play center shoot at such a high clip for a defending champion or any other team for that matter? His February numbers are 30.8 ppg, 8.1 boards and 6.7 assists and have climbed from 25 points a game in December to 40 points this month.
His stat line last night against Charlotte: 22-33 from the field (66.7%), 9-12 from the free throw line and 8-10 from Akron, all for a career high of 61 points. Perspective: there have been sixty-two 60 point games all-time in the NBA. Wilt Chamberlain has 32 of them. So let’s not get crazy.
Further, Charlotte did give up 62 to Carmelo earlier this year, but it must also be said that the Bobcats are fourth in the league defensively and give up just 97.5 points a game.
Remember how Michael Jordan motivated himself nightly? He used anything and everything to destroy the competition. When you have no peer, how do you get up and do things folks don’t expect? What is enough? How do you impress those seeing anything you do as common and downright ordinary because LeBron’s level of play is off the universe? How do you ever make folk get over an exodus from a Cleveland dystopia to a Miami paradise?
How do you erase "...not one, not two, not three....". despite taking the Heat to the last three NBA Finals and winning back-to-back NBA Championships?
This dude told y’all what he was going to do and he’s doing it! That is dominance in the same way Wilt owned his era statistically. In four seasons in Miami, James is shooting 54.4%, putting up 27 points a game, 6.8 assists and 7.6 rebounds. In 7 Cleveland seasons, he shot 47.5%, averaged 27.8 points, 7 assists and 7 rebounds.
His career has been steady and he’s shooting the ball better and better as the years go by. Think about it. How many elite years does he possibly have left? Six if not seven seasons putting up the same level of consistency that’s become his mantra? It’s something crazy to ponder huh?
He’s not a gunner and that he’s averaging 27.6 points for a career – third all-time – and not even known truly as a scorer is what makes this dude incredible. He’s behind two names: Mike (30.12) and Wilt (30.07). That’s it. Kevin Durant is at 27.2 ppg. and will most likely surpass LeBron in the next few years, but he’s known as a scorer.
I bet many are surprised that LeBron is that high on the list, especially with all the talk of Allen Iverson the last few days. The intangibles separate Kevin Durant and LeBron James. The steals, the blocks, the Wilt-like physical intimidation is not tangible is it?
I bet if you poll NBA players, the percentage saying they’d rather play against LeBron vs. Durant would be highly weighted in Durant’s favor. Durant is putting up scoring numbers we haven’t seen since Kobe Bryant and Tracey McGrady. At 31.6 ppg., he’s dominant from a scoring standpoint and averages of 7.7 boards and 5.6 dimes, but does he have the responsibility of LeBron nightly?
Does he do what LeBron does defensively, guarding all positions on the floor? No. Absolutely not. Miami is 43-14 and OKC is 45-15, so that’s a wash. The Heat have been without Dwyane Wade for stretches and the Thunder have been without Russell Westbrook. Both Durant and James have performed at a very high level in the absences of their number twos, if you will, but give me that 58% number over anything because it shows consistent efficiency. It shows that LeBron could go off and do what he did last night every night if he chose.
All the talk of Mt. Rushmore, Michael Jordan, Magic and Bird, Wilt and Russell has actually given LeBron a keen focus. It has to be said that while Kevin Durant is still playing against the league, LeBron is competing vs. history.
That’s a different type of pressure. Kevin Durant is young and he’ll have all the time to win MVP’s and scoring titles and hopefully championships, but for night now, considering anyone other than LeBron James for any award decorating any individual player as most valuable is absolutely ludicrous.
We saw the mistake of Steve Nash winning two with Kobe Bryant dominating the league. We saw Karl Malone win his two and Charles Barkley win his MVP despite Michael Jordan besting both in the years that they won.
This 61 point game will give LeBron a hunger that will possibly turn up his game a notch. That is absolutely scary. And the fact that many people are giving the MVP away to a player that he basically owns head to head has to motivate him on an unseen level.
Miami is 10-3 vs. OKC in the regular season and we all know about the 5 game “sweep” of OKC by Miami to win the 2012 NBA Championship.
What was the difference in that series? LeBron James vs. Kevin Durant on both ends of the floor. There is nothing Kevin Durant can do with LeBron defensively.
Pump your breaks people and allow the season to play out and remember this night as the night that LeBron snatched prominence away from every other athlete in the world, regardless of sport.
Take off The Decision blinders because that’s over. It’s ancient history. If you can do that, you’ll realize the greatness we are currently seeing from a player that many of note are beginning to say could be the best we’ve ever seen.