"You have to guard him close, you have to play him tough and we did that. But, I mean, we're just human. He's not." - Nicolas Batum, Portland Trail Blazers, 2/12/13
After unleashing his powers on the Blazers to the tune of 30 points on 11-15 shooting, 9 assists, as well as 6 rebounds to claim a record-breaking 6 game stretch of supreme efficiency, can you blame Batum for thinking that of the 6'8" 250-pound superstar forward?
If winning the NBA championship for the first time in his career was the pinnacle of LeBron James' 9-year career, then picking up the MVP, Finals MVP, and an Olympic gold medal along with an assortment of awards and recognition wasn't too shabby either. And somehow he's topping himself yet again this year and improving his game to the point where no defender lately has been able to impede his offensive repertoire in any way, shape or form. A third MVP trophy in the last four years is almost a given at this point already in the NBA season.
We all know about his 6-game stretch of greatness but expanding it to his last 10 games, James has been averaging 29.4 points per game while shooting .628 from the field along with 7.8 rebounds and 6.3 assists. In 7 games this month, LeBron has even extended his range to an impressive .524 from beyond the arc. But even beyond the stats, it doesn't adequately explain his dominance without seeing for yourself what he does on the floor and the profound impact he has in every game he plays in. His gravity-defying dunks can make any NBA fan jump out of their chair in reaction, no matter if they are Heat fans or not, but his thorough understanding of the game extends much further than just highlight-worthy plays (though there are plenty of those in every game).
There is no better basketball player in the world right now. When all is said and done, we might look back on his career and determine that he was the greatest to ever play the game. After all, the reigning MVP just turned 28 years old a month and a half ago and is at the peak of his already dominant game. With the power of a charging bull but also blessed with finesse, superior court vision and playmaking skills, there simply is no weakness to his game on either side of the floor.
What other qualifications do you need to be a true "Master of their Craft"?