LeBron James' confidence in his own game is as high as it's ever been, and at a stage in his career when most players are at least showing signs of slowing down, the Cleveland Cavaliers megastar continues to excel.
"You can just say I'm like fine wine, I get better with age. That's what it says," James said Tuesday after his 14th regular-season triple-double, according to ESPN's Dave McMenamin.
The 33-year-old isn't willing to chalk his success in his 15th season up to the modern NBA style of play being faster and including more possessions, either.
"More possessions, my ass. What are you talking about?" James asked. "I'm getting better with age, that's what it's saying."
In Tuesday's 129-107 victory over the Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena, James finished with 28 points on 7-of-14 shooting, 13 rebounds, 11 assists, three steals, and two blocks with a plus-minus rating of +23 in 33 minutes. He also went 13-of-15 at the charity stripe, with both his makes and attempts being season highs.
The notion that James' numbers have been influenced by the game evolving isn't that far-fetched. As McMenamin notes, the league average for possessions per game is 6.85 more in 2017-18 (99.54) than it was when James entered the league in 2003-04 (92.69). This creates more opportunities for multi-faceted players like James to fill the box score.
Even so, the four-time MVP is still responsible for those numbers. In February, James did something he'd never done before when he averaged a triple-double for an entire month.
He's averaging a career high in assists (nine), and his most points since his final season with the Miami Heat (26.9) for the 39-28 Cavaliers.