Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Is he Jordan or Oscar? Or just LeBron?
By ESPN Stats & Information
Who is LeBron James?
Is he Michael Jordan? Or is he Oscar Robertson?
LeBron had 26 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds in the Miami Heat’s Game 4 victory Tuesday, plateaus Jordan never reached in an NBA Finals game. LeBron is the first player with those numbers in an NBA Finals game since Larry Bird in 1986.
LeBron, who is 27 years old, is now one game from his first NBA championship. Jordan didn’t win his first ring until he was 28 years old. LeBron has now been to three NBA Finals series before the time Jordan reached his first.
LeBron has three regular-season MVP awards. When Jordan was LeBron’s age, he had only one MVP.
LeBron is averaging 30.5 points, 9.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game this postseason. Jordan averaged at least 30 points per game in each of his last 12 postseasons, but he never averaged as many as eight rebounds per game in a postseason.
Jordan had 22 double-digit assist games and 21 double-digit rebound games in his postseason career, but he had just two postseason triple-doubles.
LeBron already has seven career postseason triple-doubles and was a rebound shy of his eighth in Game 4.
Jordan was certainly known for his scoring prowess, but he never scored at least 25 points in 14 straight games in a single postseason. LeBron has done that twice, in 2009 and his current streak. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, nobody else in NBA playoff history has done that even once.
Only twice previously in NBA history has a player averaged at least 30 points, nine rebounds and five assists per game in a postseason. Robertson did it in 1963 for the Cincinnati Royals, and LeBron did it in 2009 for the Cleveland Cavaliers. If he maintains his averages this postseason, LeBron will add his name to that list once again.
Robertson was known for his triple-doubles. He’s the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double for an entire season. But LeBron has the upper hand in the playoffs. Eight career playoff triple-doubles would be one more than Oscar had in his career. And let’s not forget that LeBron has plenty of time to add to that total.
Robertson won one NBA championship in his career, and that wasn’t until he was 32 years old. Like LeBron, Oscar didn’t win a ring with his original team. He was traded from the Royals to the Milwaukee Bucks after spending 10 seasons in Cincinnati and finally won one alongside Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. And Oscar finished his career with just one MVP award.
LeBron is the first player in NBA history with at least 650 points, 200 rebounds and 100 assists in a single postseason.
Now, he’s one win from his first NBA championship.
Perhaps LeBron isn’t MJ or Oscar or anyone else.
Maybe he’s just LeBron James.