We're sincerely glad LeBron James had a few hours to enjoy his career-high—and Miami Heat record-breaking—61-point explosion against the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday night.
Because the narrative wasted little time shifting to what LeBron's incredible performance means to the prospects of snatching his fifth-career MVP award from the jaws of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant.
Only, LeBron won’t allow himself to be affected by such trivial matters. Or so he says, anyway:
LeBron: "I don't get caught up in the MVP race."— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) March 5, 2014
This warrants a bit of semantic sussing, specifically regarding the phrase "caught up in."
Insofar as it’s the media and the fans whose job it is to "get caught up in" the horse-race heroics that make an NBA season so compelling, then yes, LeBron shouldn't be losing sleep over another piece of basketball hardware.
But if he expects us to believe that he just doesn't care, well, I have a bridge to sell LeBron James.
Come to think of it, that expression is probably better applied to people who can’t actually, like, afford a bridge.
Anyway, it’s not difficult to see where LeBron’s coming from here. His focus is on one thing and one thing only: retiring with as many rings on his fingers as humanly possible.
If he winds up with a half-dozen MVP trophies, all the better.
Ask one former NBA player, and he’ll tell you last night’s detonation all but sealed that deal:
Will the real MVP please stand up? Oh, he did last night, LeBron James with 61pts!— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) March 4, 2014
LeBron James is the only player in the world today that can do just about anything he wants on the basketball court.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) March 4, 2014
This guys seems like he knows what he’s talking about.
We’ll see if LeBron’s 61 was merely the opening salvo to an extended assault on Durant’s stake, or simply just a one-off reminder of whose throne it still is.