Based on the beginning of the NBA season, it's safe to assume that if voters had to decide right now, either James Harden or LeBron James would be crowned the league MVP.
Heading into Thursday's game against the Los Angeles Lakers averaging 28.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 9.0 assists per contest, James put on an absolute show, posting a 25-point, 12-rebound, 12-assist triple-double at home in front of his adoring fans.
It was his fourth triple-double in 29 games this year, but judging by his overall numbers and looking at box scores, he's been close to achieving a handful more.
If he retired right now, LeBron would be a first-ballot Hall of Famer with quite the legacy. However, based on the fact that this is already the 32 year old's 15th season, he seems to be moving up the record books on a nightly basis.
In Thursday's victory, he tied a Boston Celtics legend in the all-time triple-double category: Larry Bird.
Just Oscar Robertson (181), Magic Johnson (138), Jason Kidd (107), Russell Westbrook (88) and Wilt Chamberlain (78) now stand in front of him in the all-time record book in that regard.
LeBron's special night also had other historic meaning.
No other 15-year veteran has had four or more triple-doubles in a season. He still has a long way to go to extend that record this year and presumably in years to come. Since he entered the league as perhaps the most NBA-ready teenager of all-time, he has the benefit of staying in his prime for a few more seasons based on his age, conditioning and good health.
After the game, he shared a moment with rookie Lonzo Ball, who nearly posted a triple-double himself with 13 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists for the Lakers in their loss.
After the game, TNT's Kristen Ledlow asked James how he's been able to dominate at this stage of his career. He kept it pretty simple in his answer:
"Just keeping my body in tact. Off days, in between games, day of the games, just keeping my body fresh for battle. My teammates, my coaching staff has given me a huge burden to lead this team and it's up to me to be in tip-top shape in order to do that," he said.
The Cavaliers have won 16 of their last 17 games and will host the Utah Jazz on Saturday. James should be in line for another huge night as he continues his outstanding and historic season.News Now - Sport News