En route to an impressive 128-96 blowout of the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night, LeBron James continued his scorching-hot play,picking up another triple-double with 16 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists.
Throughout his career, James has been regarded as the epitome of what it means to be a great teammate due to his willingness to make the players around him better.
However, he showed just how much of a great teammate he was late in the third quarter when his team was up by 32 points over Detroit in this game.
After pulling down one of his 11 boards, LeBron seemingly looked to push the tempo up the floor. The only problem: Kyrie Irving was in his way. As you can imagine, 250 pounds of muscle didn’t bode well for the point guard, and he was knocked to the floor.
But check out LeBron’s reaction in the clip below.
Instead of going for the ball first, which is what the majority of players would do in that situation, James helped Irving to his feet and then reached back to grab it, regaining his dribble before the ball went out of bounds.
While it’s important to note that being up by 32 points certainly made it easier for LeBron to react that way, it also showed what a great teammate he was.
To add to the all-around impressive night, James became the first player in Cavaliers history to record 10 triple-doubles in a single season.
Very quietly, he’s also having a career year.
Unfortunately, he’s being overshadowed by the incredible statistics of both Russell Westbrook and James Harden.
However, it’s not a coincidence that LeBron’s teams have made the NBA Finals in seven of the 14 years that he’s been in the league. You can make the easy argument that if you take him off of the Cavaliers and place him on literally any roster in the league, that team would then be a favorite to make it to the Finals.
As a whole, his career will be defined by not only his insane skill, but also how he got his teammates involved and made them all better along the way. For a player of his historic caliber, it’s amazing that he has always preached a team-first attitude and has never wavered from it.
Tuesday night’s special assist for his buddy exemplified that to the max. While Irving might be feeling the after-effects of that hit in the morning, at least he knows that his teammate has his back.