Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: LeBron James is the NBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Month. The Cavaliers superstar averaged 25.9 points, 7.2 rebounds and 10.6 assists per game in February, helping Cleveland to a 9-2 record for the month.
Since LeBron wins the award so regularly, we’d usually let this news pass without comment. However, as friend of the program Conrad Kaczmarek pointed out on Twitter on Thursday, LeBron’s history as the East’s Player of the Month is one of the best ways to measure his utter dominance of the conference:
LeBron has now won 34 of 80 possible Player of the Month awards in his almost 14-year career, or an astonishing 42.5 percent of all award opportunities (via Basketball-Reference).
Forget all the Finals appearances and the rings and the MVPs; I don’t know what to do with that information. Kobe Bryant won 16 player of the month awards in his career. So did Michael Jordan. Add them up, and you’re still two shy of LeBron’s current total.
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Kevin Durant has 14 and counting. Shaquille O’Neal won 12. Carmelo Anthony’s nabbed six so far. Same for Stephen Curry. Allen Iverson: four. Tim Duncan:three.The list goes on and on.
I mean, if LeBron were shooting that same 42.5 percent on 3-pointers, he’d be in the top 15 in the NBA this season — but we’re not talking about getting buckets. This is about one man so thoroughly crushing his closest competition that he has an absolute stranglehold on a monthly award.
Really, LeBron’s track record as Player of the Month perfectly sums up his regular-season career. He never misses significant time to injury. He avoids major slumps. And most importantly, he constantly leads his team to victory.
Congratulations on the award, LeBron (and congratulations to Russell Westbrook for winning Western Conference Player of the Month, too). We have a feeling you’ll earn a few more before your time is done.