Who was that masked man? We all knew, of course, we’re not talking about the Lone Ranger here, we’re talking about the best basketball player of his generation, more and more a candidate for G.O.A.T.
With this performance, LeBron James joined the rare air of NBA legends who have scored at least five dozens in an Association game, he even came within eight of the career high of his opponents’ owner. Wonder how he dealt with seeing this.
Of course, the Bobcats are used to getting bombed on like this, they just recently gave up 62 to Carmelo Anthony (we should note, though, that Charlotte is top five in the league in scoring defense), but this performance seemed to have even topped that due to LeBron’s ridiculous shooting efficiency (22-for-33 from the field, 8-for-10 from three-point range and 9-for-12 from the free-throw line).
Also, Melo, as of now, falls more on the Bernard King line of 60+ scorers — a fantastic scoring talent who will be long remembered but hasn’t done anything really to transcend the game (we’d still love him in Chicago though).
LeBron adds to his legend with this one — he’s closer to the MJ/Wilt end of the scale and his legendary bonifides will increase so much if he wins his fifth MVP on the strength of performances like this one.
It has impressed me thoroughly how much emphasis James has put on defending his MVP. In the face of a season like main competitor Kevin Durant has had, in which he dominated the month and a half leading up to the All-Star Game, many would have just laid down that battle and focused completely on winning a third-straight championship.
For this player at this point of his career there is no challenge that doesn’t deserve his full attention and effort and there’s nothing he feels he can’t conquer. Durant is still a player of great value and maybe giving him the trophy for most valuable in one season wouldn’t hurt, as was the case with Derrick Rose in 2011, but would it be truthful? Can’t say so.
Still it will be great to see how the MVP race plays out, it could be one of the most memorable in recent years, if not in all years with the way its two principals are going.
Complete list of 60-point performances in the NBA’s history (Land of Basketball)
The 7 most amazing stats from LeBron James’ greatest game ever (For The Win)
Handicapping the MVP Race between LeBron James and Kevin Durant (CBS Sports)
More Impressive: Kobe’s 81 or LeBron’s 61? (ESPN First Take/YouTube)
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