NBA

'Nobody can ever top that' – LeBron James to cherish Lakers' in-season tournament triumph

By Sports Desk December 10, 2023

LeBron James made more NBA history as the Los Angeles Lakers became the first winners of the in-season tournament on Saturday, before declaring: "Nobody can ever top that".

The Lakers beat the Indiana Pacers 123-109 in Las Vegas to become the first team to lift the trophy, with James named the first-ever tournament MVP.

James was upstaged in the final by team-mate Anthony Davis, who recorded season highs of 41 points and 20 rebounds, though the four-time NBA MVP also played his part with 24 points and 11 rebounds.

As he continues to push the limits in his 21st season in the league, James took particular pleasure in helping the Lakers become the tournament's first winners, something which cannot be replicated.

"I don't think it's even about the MVP, it's about us coming together to win this thing," James told ESPN during the trophy presentation. 

"This is the [first] in-season tournament. Records will be broken, but one thing that will never be broken is to be the first to do something. 

"We're the first champions of the in-season tournament, and nobody can ever top that, and it's great to do it with a historic franchise and just a great cast of funny, engaged, competitive men."

Despite his own remarkable longevity, James hyped Davis up as the "face of the franchise" in preseason, and he ran with that tag on Saturday as the Pacers were unable to live with his monster performance.

The James-Davis partnership is now into its fifth season, and James believes the duo push each other to reach greater heights, saying: "I know who I am, he knows who he is.

"So, there's no friction. We're not trying to compete with one another on the court or on a lifestyle basis. He knows who he is, I know who I am.

"The only thing we're trying to do is hold each other accountable when we get to work and try to be the best we can be for each other, and when one is not going well, try to pick each other up. 

"There's no jealousy. There's not a jealous bone in our bodies. We're never jealous of one another. Ever."

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