At some point in Thursday's second quarter, one of Oklahoma City's courtside fans decided to do something that, these days, is incredibly ill-advised.
He dared LeBron James to do something.
Not to cook, knit, juggle or sing the South Korean national anthem. No, something that comes easy for him of late.
“He told me to shoot it,” James said. “He said, ‘Shoot it, you can’t shoot.’ So I said OK. So I shot it. And I made it. And I made another one. And I made another one. And he stopped talking to me.”
We can stop talking about the 2012-13 MVP race. That's just about over. You can start the engraving of his fourth trophy.
James' recent ridiculously efficient stretch has made much of the conversation moot. He is better in just about every offensive respect than he was last season, when he left Kevin Durant in his MVP dust.
Thursday marked the first time in seven games that he failed to connect on 60 percent of his attempts while recording 30 or more points. He got the last part right, scoring a season-high 39. He fell short of 60 percent only because he heaved a late 25-footer; even so, he finished 14-of-24.
Barring injury or catastrophe, he will finish first in the MVP race—with Durant likely second.
So who, in future seasons, will pose the greatest threats to his dominance?
(All quotes for this piece were collected through the course of the author's coverage of the Miami Heat. All statistics were accurate as of Thursday evening.)