LeBron James currently leads the league in scoring with an average of 29.8 points per game. He holds a slight edge over Kevin Durant, who trails by just a tenth of a point at 29.7. But according to James, whether or not he finishes the season on top doesn’t matter. What does matter, however, is that we are all aware that he could win the scoring title if he wanted to — every single year.
This ridiculous bit of braggadocio comes from an ESPN.com story, and the exact quote that was printed went like this:
“If I really wanted to,” James said, “if I really wanted to be the scoring [champion] every single year — every single year — I could really do it. But it doesn’t matter.”
Now, don’t get me wrong — I know how these things play out. This comment likely came out of a broader discussion about the possibility of the Cavs securing home court advantage throughout the playoffs before the end of the regular season, and whether or not they’d rest James if that indeed ended up happening.
Even so, it’s still an inane thing to say.
We all know how great LeBron has become. Few even bother to argue anymore against the fact that he is, hands down, the best player in the league. We don’t need him reminding us of what he could do if he wanted to, you know, because he’s just that awesome.
Besides, is LeBron really the only one in the league who could win the scoring title every year if that was the primary goal? Of course not. In no particular order, and without even trying to get creative, we have Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwyane Wade who could all legitimately make the same claim, and no one would bother to bat an eye in disagreement.
Winning the scoring title is rarely a player’s primary objective, especially if said player is on a team that is favored to win the championship. Every star in the league plays for the greater goal of winning a title; we all know this. But for someone who has yet to win one — and who, in the past, has publicly chosen to show off his individual achievements — maybe it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that he felt the need to make this affirmation.