LeBron James is on a tear. And while the all-everything star has had several streaks in his career, he’s never had one like this. James has scored at least 20 points in 31-straight games, putting him 14 games away from George Gervin’s record in the 1981-82 season of 45 games with at least 20 points to start a season. James scored 30 points in his last game against the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 4 and the eight-time National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star has the look of a guy who’s not going to slow down in his quest for a repeat NBA title or the drive to demolish the 20-point a game scoring record. Will James’ tear end short of the record or will it rage on? The AFRO Sports Desk’s Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley debate the question.
Riley: James’ streak will end approximately at 46 games, just enough for him to say “I did it now let’s move on.” James has never really been a stat chaser but the tear he’s on now has everyone caught up in the hype. The only thing stopping him is injury and just from analyzing his personality I can see him dropping 30 or more points in that 45th game to prove a point then scoring 10 points while handing out double-digit assists in the next.
Green: I think the streak could last all season, to be honest. James has never been more impressive to me. He has confidence and a diminishing Dwyane Wade has put the pressure on James to score more. We might be looking at a streak that could last 82 games. Who in the NBA can hold him under 20?
Riley: No one. But James’ unselfishness nature is going to prevent him from going all-in on a record of that nature. He’s always been a passer and he scored out of necessity during his time in Cleveland but when he joined the Heat the scoring load was supposed to ease. But as you pointed Mr. Green, Wade’s wear and tear has put James in prime position. Only James can stop James from scoring 20 points but I can’t see the necessity in pressing himself to score 20 points against the lower teams of the league unless it’s for record purposes.
Green: That unselfish nature went out the window last year when James realized he was “The Man” on the team. All the criticism he took for the last few years made him a monster last year. A wimpy 20-point scoring record is nothing to him so expect him to thrash that in no time.
Riley: We’ll see. No one has come close to matching that record so why not go out in style by bowing out gracefully with a single-digit game after killing the streak. James could probably go for 82 games if he wanted but I’ve never gotten that out of him.
Green: It’s a new LeBron James, Riley. And this guy’s a cold-blooded killer. He’ll kill the streak and make it untouchable for the next player to catch up to. Mark my words.