Like Him or Not, the Numbers Show just how Special Lebron is
Lebron James, like him or hate him, by any measure is one of the greatest players to ever play the game. He has won three championships and played in seven Finals, won three Finals MVP awards, won four regular season MVP awards, been named to ten All-NBA 1st Teams, and six All-Defensive Teams. His resume stacks up to just about anyone out there, but when we look at James’ stats, he becomes even more special.
5th all-time in points per game at 27.1. He is not known as a scorer, yet he scores more per game than”traditional scorers” Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Jerry West, Karl Malone, Allen Iverson, and almost all of the “scorers” to play in the league. He trails only Jordan, Wilt, Baylor, and Kevin Durant (by 0.1).
25th all-time in assists per game at 7.01. That ranks him above Hall-of-Famers Jerry West, Larry Bird, Walt Frazier, Pistol Pete, Dennis Johnson, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and soon-to-be Hall-of-Famer Kobe Bryant, just to name a few.
216th all-time in rebounds per game at 7.2. He is 0.1 rebounds per game less than Magic Johnson, while also averaging 7.6 points more per game than the Magic Man. He also averages a rebound and two assists more than MJ.
51st all-time in steals per game at 1.7. That’s better than contemporaries D-Wade and Andre Iguodala and better than legends Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone, and Pete Maravich.
7th all-time in minutes per game at 38.9. Of the players ahead of him, only Allen Iverson retired after 1974 and Lebron has already played 4,000 total minutes more than Iverson.
10th all-time in points with 28,482. He is just over 100 points away from passing Shaq on this list and will be the 7th to reach 30,000 points sometime next season. Only Jordan and Wilt average more per game. Lebron has a great chance to finish 3rd on this list. He trails Kobe by 5,161 points, which at his current pace would take Lebron less than three more seasons.
13th all-time in assists with 7,371. Lebron is only 13 assists from passing Mo Cheeks for 12th on the all-time assist list. Of the players ahead of him, none have scored more career points and only Oscar has more rebounds (209 more). In fact, other than Oscar, none of the others are in the 20,000 point club.
87th all-time in total rebounds with 7,595. Lebron has more rebounds than Chris Bosh, Kevin McHale, Magic Johnson, Kevin Love, Alonzo Mourning, Mark Eaton, and Andrew Bogut to name a few.
22nd all-time in steals with 1,739. Lebron is just 20 steals from breaking the top 20 and is already ahead of Magic, Bird, and defensive specialist, Dennis Johnson.
31st all-time in career minutes played with 40,844. Lebron has already played more minutes than Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Bill Russell, Charles Barkley, and Jerry West. He is averaging 37.6 minutes per game this season and is showing no signs of slowing down.
2nd all-time in PER. Lebron’s career 27.61 PER trails only MJ. He trails MJ by just 0.3 and is 1.2 points ahead of third-place Shaq.
7th all-time in Win Shares. Of the players ahead of him, Jordan and Wilt each played 15 seasons and the others played 18 seasons or more. This is Lebron’s 14th season.
1st all-time in Box plus/minus. Lebron’s career 9.15 BPM is a full point higher than Jordan’s, outpaces Magic and Bird by almost two points, and is almost 6 points higher than Kobe.
The scary part of all of this is that Lebron still seems to be in his prime. That is a crazy statement to make, but Lebron’s production just isn’t falling off like we would normally see with a player with over 40,000 minutes played. Still only 32 years old, Lebron has made comments about playing until he is 40. If he does that, it’s hard to see a scenario where he has not rewritten many of these records. Who knows, he may be the first player with 30,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, and 10,000 assists. Currently, no member of the 30,000 point club has even 7,000 rebounds and 7,000 assists. Lebron has already reached those thresholds.