Every time LeBron James steps onto the floor, he’s etching his name further into the history books. On Wednesday, after scoring 17 points and going 3-5 from deep, he became the only NBA player to score 39,000 points and moved up to seventh all-time in three-point shooting.
Another one in the record books pic.twitter.com/wwGdk3ljBS— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) November 22, 2023
James’ accomplishments this year aren’t just individual milestones due to a 21-year career. He’s the reason the Lakers are winning games.
Leading the team in points with 25.7 a night and assists 6.6, he’s still the catalyst of the Lakers offense. When games are close and Los Angeles needs that extra push to comeback or seal a game, it’s James with the ball in his hands making all the decisions. Per NBA.com, he’s second in the league in minutes played in the fourth.
We all understand James’ greatness and impact on the game, but is it time to reintroduce him into the MVP discussion at age 38? Christian Wood certainly thinks it is.
“He’s incredible, man,” Wood said postgame after the win against the Jazz. “I can’t really put into words – from me getting here, him waking up in the mornings, the way he carries himself on the court and off the court, how he takes care of his body, his preparation before every game. It’s incredible to do what he does at 38 and still score, rebound, assist. I think he should be in the MVP race because he’s 38 years old. What person do you know at 38 that’s been doing what he does. Today, 39,000 points, it’s incredible.”
The MVP award, more than any other end-of-year award, is narrative-based. Value is determined so nebulously that its meaning and weight are subjective. For that reason, it seemed no matter how good James has been, he couldn’t win the award because he had “already won it too many times before” or “it’s time for others to win it” has often been the argument others have made as to why he shouldn’t be in the conversation or why he was so low in it.
This season, his greatness has appeared to have taken another step forward. The fact that he’s still the most valuable player on the league’s most iconic franchise while said franchise seems to be a top competitor for a title creates a narrative the league salivates at serving us.
MVP race talks might still be a bit premature, but if James continues to perform at this level and the Lakers keep winning because of him, he might add to that legacy by being the oldest MVP award winner in league history.
You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.