LeBron says consistency fuels his status as NBA's top player

Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports

WASHINGTON -- LeBron James appreciates being appreciated.

When asked about being named the league's No. 1 player for the sixth consecutive year in ESPN's annual #NBArank, the three-time champion said there is one characteristic to his game that people are noticing.

"I think it means something of the simple fact that, you know, that what I'm doing, I'm very consistent," James said following the Cleveland Cavaliers' 105-94 win over the Washington Wizards on Friday. "I'm very consistent with my game, very consistent on how I approach the game. And there's, whoever's making it, I don't know who's making the case for it, they respect the way I play the game. So it's a testament to that."

James made the comments on the same night he became the youngest player in league history to reach the 27,000-point mark (31 years, 317 days), besting Kobe Bryant's previous mark (32 years, 160 days).

"It's truly an honor to be a part of a journey like that where you see someone put in so much work every single day and accomplishment after accomplishment," said Kyrie Irving, who was one of James' teammates who celebrated the accomplishment by emptying water bottles on the 14-year veteran's head.

"Really just humble about it," Irving said of James. "It's the best way to be, and that's who he is. For us, really celebrate and be a part of it, we never want to take it for granted. He deserves it, a douse of water. Youngest player to 27,000 points, it's an unbelievable feat. It also tells you he's been in the league a while. You never take it for granted, especially moments like that."

James is two-for-two in being named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week so far this season and is averaging 23.4 points, 9.3 assists and 9.0 rebounds through the Cavs' 7-1 start.

If James had an MVP award to match every year that he has led #NBArank, he would be tied with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the league's all-time lead with six. As it is, only Abdul-Jabbar's six and Michael Jordan's five Maurice Podoloff Trophies beat his collection of four.