Two years ago, LeBron James was one of the most despised athletes in the world. Now, people are back to being in awe of this physical specimen the likes of which we have never seen before. So many people are quick to compare LeBron to the legends of the past like Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson but that's irrelevant to me. It may be incredibly cliché, but truth be told, we're witnessing the first ever LeBron James. I'm not sure anyone will ever be comparable to James decades from now. What he is doing on the basketball court is second to none and starting to become downright unfair. The Heat beat the Los Angeles Lakers at home yesterday 107-97, which in of itself isn't all that impressive, but LeBron continued to astound and amaze the NBA world. LeBron had 32 points with seven rebounds, four assists and three steals on 12-18 shooting. It was his fifth straight game with at least 30 points - a Miami Heat franchise record - and he joined Adrian Dantley and Moses Malone as the only men to score that many points in five straight games while shooting at least 60 per cent for each game.
We here in the sports world are always looking to push new stars. We love to dub the next great player and reward him for his achievements. The accolades go a long way when cementing a player's legacy. That's why you always hear about amazing players like Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder or Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks being tossed around in MVP discussion. It's fun and exciting to bring up new names. Unfortunately for them, it's just not feasible to call anyone else besides LeBron James the MVP of the league. He won it last year and as of right now, he should win it again this year. He's the MVP of the first half. He carries this Miami Heat team - a team that has two other great players in Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh - and without LeBron, they'd drastically fall back into the pack in the East. This is the very same man who has made 49 of his last 65 shots for 75% shooting in the past week. This isn't just some impressive run, this is one of the greatest shooting stretches in the history of the NBA. With only nine of his shots coming via a dunk, it goes to show just how dominating a basketball player LeBron James has become. He cannot be stopped. His own coach, Erik Spoelstra put it perfectly in reference to LeBron when he said, "He makes greatness look easy."
• The Seattle Mariners reportedly agreed to a massive seven-year $175 million extension with their ace pitcher Felix Hernandez last Thursday. Since then, things have become a bit more complicated. The deal has been held up due to concerns over Hernandez's elbow. Since 1969, only three pitchers have thrown more innings than Felix has before their 27th birthday so his durability currently is not being called into question. However, the 2010 Cy Young award winner does have some issues in his pitching arm which could delay the extension for a few days, weeks, months and since he's still signed with the team for two more years, it could take even longer to smooth out.
• With the NBA All-Star weekend rapidly approaching, so too the trade deadline creeps into peoples' minds. Several deals have been discussed and reported as the Chicago Bulls reportedly engaged the Toronto Raptors in talks involving Carlos Boozer and Andrea Bargnani. Not to mention the New York Knicks being contacted by the Phoenix Suns who are looking to add Iman Shumpert and would be willing to give up their first round pick and Jared Dudley according to sources. The Charlotte Bobcats have discussed dealing Ben Gordon to the Brooklyn Nets for Kris Humphries, which could get killed should the Nets get who they really covet. Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks. Sources say the Nets are aggressively pursuing the 27-year old and are willing to package Humphries and MarShon Brooks in what would likely be a very impressive package for the Hawks should any deal get finished in the coming weeks.
• This year's NCAA men's basketball season continues to be a circus. For the fifth straight week, the number one team in the Nation lost as top-ranked Indiana fell to unranked Illinois on Thursday 74-72 thanks to a buzzer-beating layup from Tyler Griffey in Champaign, Illinois. Saturday night, (25) Notre Dame and (11) Louisville captivated audiences for nearly four hours as they battled late into the night for a thrilling and epic five overtime game. Notre Dame managed to pull off the miraculous victory pulling ahead to a 104-101 victory. Notre Dame's junior center Garrick Sherman entered the game late as both Jack Cooley and Tom Knight fouled out. He went on to score 17 points on 7/10 shooting in the five overtimes. The fourth ranked Duke Blue Devils managed to squeak by Boston College 62-61 yesterday as they eye a return to the number one spot. The now 21-2 Blue Devils have as good a case as any to be given the top-ranking in the country...for now.
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