Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James was named Western Conference Player of the Month for games played in January, the NBA announced on Feb. 4.
He is the first Lakers player to receive the honor since Kobe Bryant in February 2013.
James has now earned Player of the Month honors an NBA-record 39 times, but this represents his first since being named as such with the Cleveland Cavaliers for March/April 2018. This month has also seen James voted to the 2020 NBA All-Star Game, leading all players in voting for the fourth consecutive season.
The latest recognition caps off what was a historic and emotional month for the 35-year-old. James averaged 25.4 points on 50.4 percent shooting from the field to go along with 8.1 rebounds, 10.4 assists, and 1.4 steals.
The Lakers went 10-4 in January and maintained their position atop the Western Conference standings. James scored in double figures in 13 of those games, including 10 contests with at least 20 and five 30-point performances.
He additionally tallied double-digit assists in eight games, including a career-high-tying 19 assists against the Orlando Magic and finished the month with nine double-doubles, including three triple-doubles.
James’ prolific production garnered him Western Conference Player of the Week honors for Dec. 30, 2019 to Jan. 5, 2020, and propelled him into third place on the NBA all-time scoring list. He surpassed Bryant and received a warm message from the Lakers legend.
Unfortunately, the moment has since become an afterthought as Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant, and seven others passed away when a helicopter tragically crashed in Calabasas. James was a central figure in the Lakers honoring Bryant during a pregame ceremony.
After Usher, Boyz II Men and Ben Hong performed, James took a microphone and stood at center court to deliver a speech and his first public comments since the accident. He raved about the impact Bryant had on his career and the bond Lakers fans help facilitate.
In the wake of Bryant’s death, James has embraced the added pressure of guiding the Lakers to their first championship since 2010. F
or the season, he is averaging 25.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, a career-high 10.7 assists, and 1.3 steals in 34.8 minutes per game.