He isn’t retiring just yet, but that day will come. I do not want to debate where LeBron James fits in amongst the greatest players of all time but he is clearly on the list.
I never saw Bill Russell play, but I know he was great. There are plenty of people out there that never really saw Michael Jordan play – I did and he was AMAZING.
Most of you that are reading this will have seen James play for the entirety of his career. I hope you are appreciating it because what he has done and what he continues to do is just incredible.
Considering the fact that the average NBA career spans 4.8 years, James is now 32 and is in his 14th season. I still happen to believe that he is the best player on the planet and is by far the best at making other players better. This won’t last forever and it doesn’t seem to be deteriorating at this point at all.
Here are some facts to illustrate just how amazing what James is doing at this point in his career:
He was part of the most decorated NBA draft class of 2003. Amongst the first rounders that are still playing in the NBA, the list includes: Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Nick Collison, David West, Dahntay Jones, Boris Diaw and Leandro Barbosa. That is the full list and none of those guys are playing close to their “ultimate level.”
Only 10 active players have played more games than James: Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Vince Carter, Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson, Jamal Crawford, Pau Gasol, Diaw, Tony Parker, and Richard Jefferson. All of these players have been great professionals but none are still at “their best level.”
If you factor in the postseason, the only two names with more games played than LeBron that are still active include Parker and Ginobili. Again, two key pieces to the Spurs long term success, but no longer the best players on the team. So that leads us back to James.
This season is his 12th in the NBA playoffs and he is 6-0 so far in 2017. He is trying to repeat as an NBA champion and continues to deny father time and all those that thirst to take away his label as the best player in basketball.
This postseason, James is averaging 34.2 points per game, which is the second best of his playoff career. He is grabbing 9.2 rebounds per game which falls in fifth for his career. The 7.3 assists per game is right in the middle as sixth best. His field-goal percentage, blocks per game, steals per game and made three pointers per game are all on top of his post-season charts. What?
At 32 years of age and in his 14th season, he is a marvel, always has been, and at this point hasn’t slowed down. The time will come, but I encourage you to enjoy what you are watching because when he is gone you will miss it.
[graphiq id=”95CWwOZvEsB” title=”LeBron James Playoff Per Game Stats by Season” width=”600″ height=”801″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/95CWwOZvEsB” ]