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LeBron James registered the fourth triple-double of the NBA season, his first since returning to Cleveland and the 38th of his career — reestablishing himself as the Most Valuable Player candidate to beat and righting the Cavaliers' ship in Monday's 118-111 win over Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans.
Or did he?
Much of that statement remains true, but the NBA rescinded LeBron's triple-double, removing a rebound and an assist from his line of 32 points, 12 boards and 10 assists, per ProBasketballTalk's Kurt Helin.
It doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things, unless you're Fat Lever holding off James in the context of historical triple-doubles or you were on either end of a daily fantasy league battle decided by a matter of points involving LeBron, which this scribe may or may not have been.
NBA Reddit user Timi093 brought the issue to light on Tuesday, pointing out an assist awarded to LeBron that should have been credited to teammate Tristan Thompson, if anybody. (Kyrie Irving took four transition dibbles to score a basket that cut the Pelicans lead to 78-75 with 3:27 left in the third quarter.)
Meanwhile, Vantage Sports took the proverbial ball and dribbled it a step further, noting LeBron was credited with a rebound on the same play when his "tip to possession" also gave Thompson the board.
So, Fat Lever's 43 career triple-doubles are safe for a little while longer, and Thompson will have an additional rebound and assist on his resume when his restricted free agency commences come July.
Weirdly, this isn't the first time LeBron has been stripped of a triple-double. During his last regular-season stint in a wine-and-gold Cavaliers uniform, he had a rebound lifted from a remarkable line of 52 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds against the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden on Feb. 4, 2009 — the league's first 50-point triple-double since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's in 1975. Or so we thought.
For the time being, point guards Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo and Kyle Lowry remain the only players to reach double figures in three statistical categories this season. Perhaps next time LeBron should consider the approach perfected by former Cavaliers teammate Ricky Davis, padding his own stats and turning it up to 11 "Spinal Tap"-style in order to avoid another triple-double that wasn't.
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