LeBron James continues to defy logic and Father Time simultaneously in the second decade of his career. However, that wasn’t enough to earn him Western Conference Player of the Month honors for January 2023 with Nikola Jokic named the award-winner on Thursday.
The respective POTM cases for Nikola Jokić and Joel Embiid: https://t.co/Xag8tNeacD pic.twitter.com/CfcEDRDhCV— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 2, 2023
This would have been LeBron’s first Player of the Month honor since February of 2020. Two years ago, he won back-to-back Player of the Month awards in January and February of that season. Those mark his only previous Western Conference Player of the Month awards.
In the month of January, fresh off turning 38 years old, LeBron averaged 33.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game. He also shot a sizzling 50.3% from the field. He took home a pair of Player of the Week awards during the month as well.
His high mark of the month came against the Rockets when he poured in 48 points with nine assists and eight rebounds. He eclipsed the 40-point mark four times in the month, including scoring 46 points in a loss to the Clippers.
While his chase of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time scoring record has garnered plenty of attention, especially as his scoring output has increased this month, LeBron also made history on a different all-time leaderboard. In the team’s final game of the month, LeBron passed both Mark Jackson and Steve Nash to move into fourth all-time in assists.
One of the greatest passers ever.— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 1, 2023
Congrats to @KingJames on passing Steve Nash for the 4th-most assists in NBA history. pic.twitter.com/otUtJ7PeGZ
However, Nikola Jokic had a higher VORP or RAPTOR or something, I don’t know. To be fair, Jokic did average a triple-double for the best team in the conference. There’s certainly no point in getting upset about Player of the Month honors, especially with LeBron on the precipice of an all-time record.
Instead, just enjoy him while he’s’ around because we likely will never see someone like him again.
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