Monday night saw the current best basketball player in the world face off against a young buck looking to hold that title sometime in the next five-to-seven years, as Anthony Davis’ New Orleans Pelicans squad visited LeBron James’ Cavaliers in Cleveland. The two Olympians didn’t disappoint the crowd, as LeBron did his beast league MVP impression, while Davis flirted — again — with one of the NBA’s most elusive stat lines: a 5×5. For the uninitiated, a 5×5 requires a player to register at least five of the major stats: points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. The last player to accomplish it was Nicolas Batum back in 2012. Before that, Andrei Kirilenko pulled one off in 2006 — the second of his career. It should come as no surprise that Hakeem Olajuwon holds the 5×5 record, having accomplished it six times in his career. (The Dream is also one of only four players to record the most elusive stat line of all: the mythical quadruple-double, which he almost pulled off twice in the span of one month in 1990).
As for Davis’ flirtation with the 5×5 Club (his final stat line from Monday: 27 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals, 3 blocks), we say the word “again” because this isn’t the first time he’s sniffed the jackpot. In just his third game last season (aka, only AD’s second season), Davis was carrying a line of 25 points, 8 rebounds, 6 steals, 6 blocks and 4 assists for most of the fourth quarter. While he failed to register the one assist he needed, it put the basketball world on notice that a 5×5 was a possibility any time he stepped on the court. In fact, there were a few more instances last season where he was merely a couple stats away from accomplishing it. The 5×5 is coming. It’s just a matter of when and how many times he’ll do it. After that, maybe he can focus on joining Olajuwon, David Robinson, Nate Thurmond and Alvin Robertson in the Quadruple-Double Club.
Meanwhile, on the Cavaliers’ side, LeBron James notched the 38th triple-double of his career, as both he and Kyrie Irving poured in 32 points apiece to lead the Cavs to a 118-111 victory.
[image via Cleveland Plain Dealer]