The sports reporting world, this site included, has been heaping praise on Kevin Durant lately with good reason, but let’s not forget that LeBron James is still having one of the most efficient scoring seasons and best all-around seasons ever. Again. His consistency is so astounding, we take him for granted.
With the exception of his shooting percentages, LeBron’s stats are all down this season. However, his per game averages are still fantastic and rarely achieved in NBA history. As of the halfway point in the season, James is averaging over 26 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists per game. Only 7 players have ever done this. Only 5 have ever done it more than once. Only two other players have managed to hit those averages since the NBA / ABA merger in 1977, and those players are Michael Jeffery Jordan and Larry Joe Bird.
Here is the full list:
Pretty astonishing that those are the only players to have managed 26-6-6 averages over a season. I’m surprised no one of the Kobe Bryant, Clyde Drexler, Grant Hill, Tracy McGrady, Dwyane Wade, Scottie Pippen, Vince Carter All-NBA swingman contingent ever did it. Very exclusive list, and LeBron makes it every season except his rookie year.
Hondo’s inclusion is interesting. He’s one of those players who really demonstrates that ability and production are not the same thing. Many years he didn’t do a lot of playmaking or really high volume scoring. He just used his motor to provide a buzzer to buzzer decoy and pick apart the defense when they lost track of him. But he had 26-6-6 in his pocket when the team needed more from him. And he did it twice.
Jordan is also interesting on this list. We tend to think of Michael primarily in terms of his great scoring and defense, but his all-around game was as good as it gets prior to his first retirement. Oscar and Larry are not surprising, though it’s probably worth mentioning that Bird managed to get all those assists and was never a primary ball-handler. That is pure passing skill and court vision.
LeBron is far and away the all-around game King with his ten inclusions on the list. Doing it all is just what he does.