LeBron James Passed Michael Jordan in Another Old Man NBA History Stat, Proving Father Time Has Nothing on Him
LeBron James failed to score 30 points in the Los Angeles Lakers’ win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on January 2, marking the first time since December 17 that he didn’t reach the 30-point mark. However, he still made old man NBA history by passing Michael Jordan in a unique stat.
LeBron turned 37 on December 30. He’s in his 19th NBA season and has several miles on his body after playing in 10 Finals. However, the Lakers forward is still putting up MVP numbers and playing like the best player in the league, proving father time has nothing on him.
LeBron James is putting up ridiculous numbers for a guy who is 37
LeBron has appeared in 1,336 regular-season games and 266 playoff games. He’s not only 37, but he’s also still dealing with some pain in his abdomen. However, if you didn’t know any of these facts about LeBron, you would think he’s in his 20s by the way he’s performing this season.
In the 26 games he’s played, LeBron has averaged 28.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 6.6 assists while shooting 52.3% from the field, 37.4% from beyond the arc, and 77.2% from the free-throw line. He leads the NBA in 30-point games and has his highest points per game average since 2009-10 when he put up 29.7 points per night at the age of 24 and 25.
LeBron would undoubtedly be in the MVP conversation if the Lakers had a better record. LA is only 19-19 and sits in the seventh spot in the Western Conference standings. If the playoffs started today, LeBron and Co. would be in the play-in tournament.
While it’s been tough for LA fans to watch the Lakers struggle, LeBron’s superstar production has been fun to witness since he continues to beat father time and pass Jordan — his childhood idol — in old men’s stats.
LeBron James broke tie with Michael Jordan
LeBron finished with 26 points against the Timberwolves. It was the eighth straight game in which LBJ scored at least 25 points, breaking a tie with Jordan for the longest such streak in NBA history by a player age 36 years or older.
During the 2001-02 season, Jordan scored over 25 points seven games in a row at the age of 38 for the Washington Wizards. The Chicago Bulls legend averaged 32.3 points during that stretch. LeBron, who passed Jordan on the NBA’s all-time scoring list in 2018-19, is averaging 34.8 points over his last eight games.
LeBron and Jordan are the two most efficient players in NBA history. The latter is first all-time in player efficiency rating, while the former is second. Jordan’s career points per game average of 30.1 is No. 1 in NBA history. As for LeBron, he’s No. 6 all-time (27.0).
LeBron is having the best scoring season for a player 36 or older. Jordan had some stellar games with the Wizards when he was 38, 39, and 40. However, not only did Washington miss the playoffs in 2002 and 2003, but Jordan was also fairly inefficient.
Meanwhile, LeBron is still one of the most efficient players despite being in his 19th season and 37.
The King is fifth this season in PER
LeBron is the fourth oldest player in the NBA currently. Only Udonis Haslem, Andre Iguodala, and Carmelo Anthony are older. However, the Chosen One is still producing like a youngster. LeBron is fifth in the NBA in PER and second in points per game. That’s mind-boggling when you consider how many games and minutes the future Hall of Famer has played.
Jordan only had a PER of 20.7 in 2001-02 and 19.3 in 2002-03. LeBron currently has a PER of 26.9. His longevity is astonishing. No 37-year-old has ever looked as dominant as LeBron has been this season. Jordan fanatics, who tend to hate on the King a lot since they believe Black Jesus is the undisputed GOAT, should appreciate the greatness of LeBron since we will probably never see another player like him again.
LeBron is still chasing the ghost of Jordan despite passing him on the all-time scoring list. The 17-time All-Star won’t catch Captain Marvel in scoring titles, but he needs one regular-season MVP, two championships, and two Finals MVPs to tie the Bulls icon.
With that said, it will be interesting to see if LeBron can tie Jordan. He’s already proven he’s aged better than him. Now, he needs two more rings to sit next to his idol.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference