In Cleveland's 129-123 victory over Brooklyn on Tuesday night, LeBron James put up 31 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists. The impressive stat line gave the Cavs their 36th victory of the season as they attempt to close the gap on Boston and Toronto at the top of the Eastern Conference.
It also gave LeBron entry into his own exclusive statistical club. He's the first NBA player to ever score 30,000 points while tallying 8,000 assists and 8,000 rebounds in his career.
Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that he notched another career first in the process, proving the 33-year-old isn't slowing down any time soon. He averaged a triple-double for the entire month of February—the first time he's ever hit that milestone in his illustrious career.
James becomes the oldest player in NBA history to average triple-double average for an entire calendar month, besting Wilt Chamberlain's previous mark set at the age of 31.
Before the game, reporters asked him about the looming achievement. "My teammates are making shots and I couldn't do that without them," replied a diplomatic James. "I just try to put the ball on time and on target if it's a cross-court pass to a shooter or an outlet pass to a streaking runner or a lob to one of my bigs. They actually have to make the shot for it to become an assist."
As for the rebounds, James said, "Rebounding for me has always been instinctual. I'm not a big boxout guy, I've always kind of used my instincts and seeing the ball if it's coming off the rim, how it's coming off the backboard or off the guy's hands and just try to use my athleticism to get the rebounds."
James also explained why getting buckets has never been his priority. "The scoring part is something I've kind of—if I can get two layups a quarter or three layups a quarter then I'm going to get over 10 points a game. Scoring has always been last for me; I've never looked at myself as a scorer."
He did acknowledge excitement about adding his name to another NBA history book. "But to know the history of the game and seeing the guys that put up triple-doubles on a regular [basis] from Jason Kidd to Magic Johnson to Oscar Robertson to Russell Westbrook, you can throw my name in there as well." James may never usurp Michael Jordan as the consensus best player ever, but if he keeps playing like this, there'll be at least some room for debate.