Obscure references and even more obscure records.
If you've followed LeBron James of late, you've heard him make plenty of the former and take runs at plenty of the latter.
Thursday, after shooting 11-of-15 to score 26 points with 12 rebounds and seven assists in a 86-67 dismantling of the sloppy Bulls, James explained why he's been pressing his open palms toward the floor after made jumpers on the road.
“Yeah, I’m on my Nick Van Exel thing right now, anybody who knows the history of the game,” James said. “The fans are always on me on the road, they stay on me, they continue to say I can’t shoot the ball, I can’t shoot.”
James said he would eschew Van Exel's trademark high socks. Even so, it was an impressive pull from the NBA's past, ranking up there with James mentioning Jud Buechler during an All-Star Weekend interview.
Even more impressive?
James' recent run of accomplishments.
Every couple of weeks, it seems, he's chasing history, with some remarkable milestone or streak.
He went 254 minutes at one point without committing a foul.
He went 33 straight games to start with the season without scoring fewer than 20 points.
And then, in six straight games, he scored at least 30 points while shooting 60 percent.
"Just when you think he’s done it all, he does something else that you didn’t even know existed," Bosh said. "I didn’t even know there’s a stat for 60 percent, 30 points a game.”
In Bosh's view, "The only way you can get better breaking that record is to do it eight times, nine times, or 10 times, or nine out of 10."
The next five slides include some other ideas for the next statistical standards James can stalk.
(All quotes for this piece were collected through the course of the author's coverage of the Miami Heat for the Palm Beach Post.)