On This Day In History (2.4.09): LeBron records triple double with 52 points vs the Knicks (Stern takes away the triple double)
2 days after Kobe Bryant came into MSG and set a building record of 61, LeBron came in and scored 52 points and became the first player since Kareem in 1975 to record a triple double with 50 points.
“A pretty impressive triple-double,” Cleveland’s Wally Szczerbiak said. “I bet his fantasy owners are pretty happy.”
Unlike unhappy Knicks fans who watched LeBron go for 50 points 10 assists and 8 rebounds the previous season and had to watch him compete with Kobe’s record this season.
“We go out and try to win ball games. Myself and Kobe go out and win ball games and sometimes we make games like that,” James said before the game.
“It just so happens where we get high numbers or we make an unbelievable play. It just happens that way. But we’re out there first of all trying to win the basketball game. I never go into a game saying I’m going to try to put up a decent amount of numbers or anything like that. I’ve never been that type of player.”
He might not have tried to put up big numbers but after a 20 point first quarter, everybody knew he was going to have a monster line by the end of the night.
“I don’t go out there for the numbers, I just play my game,” James said. “You guys seen every phase of my game tonight, the scoring, the rebounding, the assists and defensively just trying to attack the opposing team.
“I never thought you could look at the box score and see somebody with 50 with a triple-double, but it’s happened.”
Yeah, twice in the 60s (Wilt & Elgin), once in 1975 and this day back in 2009…well, at least for 2 days.
Via The Plain Dealer.
The league downgraded LeBron James’ historic achievement at Madison Square Garden.
Saying it was correcting a statistical error, the league Friday took away a rebound from what was the first 50-point triple double in the NBA in 34 years, since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did it for the Bucks in 1975. Now, the record books will show that James had 52 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists. He’s back to 20 career triple doubles, three this season.
The play in question occurred with 39.3 seconds left in the game. Ben Wallace appeared to juggle a loose rebound and tap it to James under the basket before falling out of bounds. The stats crew awarded the rebound to James, his ninth of the game. He got his 10th in the closing seconds. Wallace has been given a rebound in the official stats.
The NBA decided Wallace had controlled the ball and passed it to James. The NBA basketball operations staff, headed by league Vice President Stu Jackson, had the final call on the adjustment.
“We followed a procedure in which we review plays to make sure the stats are accurate to protect the integrity and history of the league,” NBA spokesman Tim Frank said.
The NBA reviews all games and periodically makes changes to stats but usually doesn’t announce it. In this case, because of the history involved, the league made an exception.