LeBron James only needed 30 minutes of play on Monday night to have an incredible performance in the Los Angeles Lakers’ blowout win over the Golden State Warriors.
James scored 22 points on 8-for-13 shooting while grabbing 10 rebounds and 11 assists. He was also a game-high plus-33, an absurd number for such a low amount of minutes played.
His all-around great performance was solidified by securing a triple-double, his fourth of the season and tenth since turning 35 years old last season. In fact, James is the first player in NBA history to achieve 10 triple-doubles after turning 35. Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd is the only other player with at least five after their 35th birthday.
While the triple-double has become more commonplace in today’s game, James still sees it as an important milestone. “I think so because I’ve always wanted to have a triple threat game where 1. I can pass the ball,” James said. “I love passing the ball to my teammates and getting those guys shots, getting them good looks.
“Being able to rebound, that’s always important. Rebounding wins championships, as the great Pat Riley would say. And then being able to score a little bit too. That’s probably the least out of the three for me, but to be out on the court and you can control the game in three different facets of the game, and it’s always been important for me to do it in a win. The losses never mean much to me but to do it in a win and feel like you made an impact, and when it happens in the flow of the game, that’s also what’s more important.”
One of James’ best attributes as a player has always been the multiple ways he can affect a game, and that’s exactly what triple-doubles signify. Players like Russell Westbrook and James Harden have gotten so good at achieving this feat that it has almost de-valued it, but it still should be recognized as a great performance.
James praises next-man up mentality of Lakers team
Although James may have to get some more triple-doubles while Anthony Davis continues to recover from a calf strain, L.A. is also seeing breakthroughs from other players on the roster. When asked about this, James praised the team saying that winning short-handed games is great for a deep playoff run.
“That you can key on anyone. You can call for anyone on our ballclub who’s in uniform throughout the course of a playoff run and you can rely on them. We’re short-handed, missing obviously two of our starters, missing some pieces to our ballclub that’s helped us win a lot of ball games. But we have our ‘next man up’ mentality and guys are just trying to do what they need to do to help us win, and that’s what it’s about.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!