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  1. #1
    Registered User Daewoo_Lanos's Avatar
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    It's time we all face the facts: LeBron James is the next Michael Jordan

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insid...PERDiem-100330


    LeBron closing in on Jordan
    PER Diem: March 30, 2010



    Normally at this time of year, we would be writing breathless articles about the MVP race, rallying our support behind one candidate or another and sifting through torrents of angry e-mails supporting that player's rivals.

    Not this year.

    The MVP race has been over since about mid-January. LeBron James has run so far away from the pack that he could shoot 0-for-100 from the field over his final eight games and still win the award going away. (For fun, I fact-checked this: Even with 100 straight misses, no assists and no rebounds in his next 200 minutes, he'd still lead the league in PER.)

    Only two items of interest remain. First, will some sycophant homer screw up what should be a unanimous decision with a completely indefensible vote for his local guy? And second, is this the best individual season a player has ever had?

    As you might suspect, today's topic deals with the second of those questions. Some of this may sound familiar, as this time a year ago I mentioned that James was en route to one of the best statistical seasons in history.

    Here's the thing: This season, he's been better.

    Once again, a hallowed record (at least in my world) is in play for James as we enter the final eight games: He could surpass Michael Jordan's 1987-88 campaign for the greatest single-season PER in the modern era. I have to add the "modern" qualifier because the league didn't keep track of things like blocks and individual turnovers before 1973-74, rendering the PER exercise a guessing game for players from previous eras.

    James' current PER of 31.81 is second best in "modern" history, and with eight games left (of which he'll probably play only five or six), he retains an outside shot at breaking Jordan's all-time mark of 31.89. At the very least, he's going to be within hailing distance.

    Top All-time PER Seasons
    Player Year PPG RPG APG MPG PER
    Michael Jordan 1987-88 35.0 5.5 5.9 40.4 31.89
    LeBron James 2009-10 29.8 7.2 8.6 39.0 31.81
    Michael Jordan 1990-91 31.5 6.0 5.5 37.0 31.79
    LeBron James 2008-09 28.4 7.6 7.2 38.6 31.76
    Michael Jordan 1989-90 33.6 6.9 6.3 39.0 31.31
    Michael Jordan 1988-89 32.5 8.0 8.0 40.2 31.29

    Regardless, James will almost certainly set another record: The best two-year PER stretch of any player in history. James was no slouch last season, finishing at 31.76 for the third-best PER ever (well, until he bumped it down to fourth this season); combined, that gives him a two-year average of 31.78. The best Jordan mustered was 31.55.

    Obviously, the larger James versus Jordan argument won't be much of a debate until LeBron picks up some hardware in the postseason. Nonetheless, I can't emphasize enough what an extraordinary accomplishment James' past two seasons represent. We've flinched at comparing current players to Jordan after several previous "next Jordans" were found wanting. But that has put up a mental barrier to a declaration that the numbers see as obvious: In terms of regular-season performance, we're watching the next Jordan.

    I'd argue that we can extend that comparison further. When Jordan was at the same stage of his career as LeBron, the press treated him almost exactly the same. Like James, he was a wondrous regular-season performer who had never won anything important and thus couldn't be compared with the likes of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.

    Looking back, that whole notion seems laughable, if not downright quaint yet we're falling in the exact same trap. Jordan, remember, didn't win a title until his seventh season. As luck would have it, James is in his seventh season, and his odds of winning a crown have never looked better. With the Lakers faltering down the stretch and the Celtics succumbing to age, only James' nemesis from a year ago -- Orlando -- would rate as an even-money proposition to stop him from winning the trophy.

    That part of the James-Jordan comparison won't be settled for another two months, his regular-season one in a little more than two weeks.

    James leads the league in scoring, at least for the moment (Kevin Durant is only 0.2 behind, and if James rests the final couple of games, Durant will have a number to shoot for, David Robinson-style, in the season finale). But LeBron is not just scoring. He's getting his 29.8 points per game with incredibly high-percentage shots. James' true shooting percentage of 60.4 ranks in the league's top 25, and most of the players ahead of him are snipers with much smaller offensive roles.

    Yet for me, his passing is the most amazing part. In fact, for a wing player, it's eye-popping: James has cracked the league's top 15 in pure point rating even though he plays small forward. (Except for James and San Antonio's Manu Ginobili, every player in the top 40 plays the point).

    Or try this one on for size: No forward in league history has ever averaged more than eight assists per game until this season; Larry Bird's 7.6 assists per game in 1986-87 came the closest. James is averaging 8.6, even though he's playing in one of the slow-paced eras in league annals and averages a relatively modest 39.0 minutes per game. Put him at Bird's pace in 1986-87, and he'd be averaging a whopping 9.3.

    The same applies to most of James' numbers. On a per possession basis, his triple-crown stats of 29.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 8.6 assists crush Oscar Robertson's triple-double season in 1961-62 or Jordan's 32.5-8.0-8.0 season in 1988-89 or just about any statistical season in history.

    All except one, that is. James' output still trails Jordan's peak campaign in 1987-88 by a whisker. He has a chance to glide past him in the final two weeks but, with Cleveland throttling down to coast into the postseason, probably won't.

    Nonetheless, it's a season for the ages -- and his second of the like in a row. We've held off on comparing James to Jordan for some good reasons, especially since he hasn't won a title yet. But at this point, there's nobody else left to whom we can compare him.
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  2. #2
    ʕᴥʔ MontelWilliams's Avatar
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    he's not going to be the next jordan...in the future he will be someone that players will be compared to alongside jordan, magic, etc.

    oh and inb4 i have as many rings as lebronze/lebrick
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  3. #3
    Picture Me Trollin' SweetTouch's Avatar
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    In before Kobe's Groupies show up to White Knight.

    edit: NVM, I was a bit too late. Damn, Kobe's cheerleaders are FAST!

    True article is true.
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  4. #4
    Banned IamaMotherLover's Avatar
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    jordan>lebron>kobe
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  5. #5
    Nonregistered Nonuser bustermac's Avatar
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    False.


    It's time you face the fact that the Daewoo Lanos is the crappiest car ever made. (srs)
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  6. #6
    Banned big_wooden_deck's Avatar
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    inb4gswarriorcriesandmakesexcuses
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  7. #7
    Registered User Ace50's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by IamaMotherLover View Post
    jordan>lebron>kobe
    jordan>kobe>lebron

    fixed
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  8. #8
    Registered User Daewoo_Lanos's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bustermac View Post
    False.


    It's time you face the fact that the Daewoo Lanos is the crappiest car ever made. (srs)



    Originally Posted by Ace50 View Post
    jordan>kobe>lebron

    fixed
    i lol'd
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  9. #9
    Banned big_wooden_deck's Avatar
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    Jordan even said that Lebron has great potential to be BETTER than him, not just the 'next Jordan'

    And in the same statement, he said that Kobe isn't going to be considered anything with Jordan.
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  10. #10
    Picture Me Trollin' SweetTouch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by big_wooden_deck View Post
    Jordan even said that Lebron has great potential to be BETTER than him, not just the 'next Jordan'

    And in the same statement, he said that Kobe isn't going to be considered anything with Jordan.
    Exactly.

    Jordan led his team to rings. 6 of them.
    LeBron will lead his team to rings. Lots of them.
    Kobe? He led his team to one ring (Yawn, so did D-Wade), and rode Shaq's coattails to the other three.

    LeBron or MJ would never take a backseat to anyone - it's just degrading. Kobe had no problem picking at the table scraps, though.
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  11. #11
    Banned Greg1983's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SweetTouch View Post
    Exactly.

    Jordan led his team to rings. 6 of them.
    LeBron will lead his team to rings. Lots of them.
    Kobe? He led his team to one ring (Yawn, so did D-Wade), and rode Shaq's coattails to the other three.

    LeBron or MJ would never take a backseat to anyone - it's just degrading. Kobe had no problem picking at the table scraps, though.
    Neither Kobe nor LeBron were as good at 21 as Shaq was in his prime. In the same situation, they would have been second option.
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  12. #12
    Registered User Daewoo_Lanos's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Greg1983 View Post
    Neither Kobe nor LeBron were as good at 21 as Shaq was in his prime. In the same situation, they would have been second option.
    LBJ 21 year old season: 31.4 ppg, 7 reb, 6.6 ast

    aka

    better than any season Kobe has had in his entire career.
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  13. #13
    Banned IamaMotherLover's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Ace50 View Post
    jordan>kobe>lebron

    fixed
    fixed? you damaged it
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  14. #14
    ************ GPx's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Daewoo_Lanos View Post
    LBJ 21 year old season: 31.4 ppg, 7 reb, 6.6 ast

    aka

    better than any season Kobe has had in his entire career.
    Great stats and nothing to show for it.
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  15. #15
    Banned Greg1983's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Daewoo_Lanos View Post
    LBJ 21 year old season: 31.4 ppg, 7 reb, 6.6 ast

    aka

    better than any season Kobe has had in his entire career.
    He would have been Shaq's second option if he came up in the same situation Kobe did. It's ridiculous to think otherwise.
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  16. #16
    Fair & Balanced jump_man23's Avatar
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    i dont understand why the kobe fanboys are such haters


    they should bow in the presence of greatness and realize kobe is no longer the greatest player in the league


    King!
    Rep back 1k+
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  17. #17
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    Originally Posted by SweetTouch View Post
    Exactly.

    Jordan led his team to rings. 6 of them.
    LeBron will lead his team to rings. Lots of them.
    Kobe? He led his team to one ring (Yawn, so did D-Wade), and rode Shaq's coattails to the other three.

    LeBron or MJ would never take a backseat to anyone - it's just degrading. Kobe had no problem picking at the table scraps, though.
    Jordan led his team to 6 rings, 0 without Pippen.

    Lebron has yet to win one, your garbage nostradamus act doesn't matter.
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  18. #18
    Registered User Daewoo_Lanos's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GPx View Post
    Great stats and nothing to show for it.
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  19. #19
    Registered User someonefat's Avatar
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    lbj is the best physical specimen in any sport. The whole rings argument is retarded, league is way different with way more talent. His talent is unmatched by anyone in the league. He is 6'9 faster then most pgs, stronger then centers, great basketball mind, and ridiculously explosive.

    Guy is an absolute freak and its a pleasure to watch him perform night after night. Give him same team kobe has and my god he would win back to back for 10 years.

    Lbj is 10x the player jordan ever was in terms of skill.
    Last edited by someonefat; 03-30-2010 at 05:12 PM.
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  20. #20
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    Originally Posted by jump_man23 View Post
    i dont understand why the kobe fanboys are such haters


    they should bow in the presence of greatness and realize kobe is no longer the greatest player in the league


    King!
    Oh yeah and because Lebron fanboys don't hate on Kobe at all....gtfo.
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  21. #21
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    Originally Posted by Daewoo_Lanos View Post
    lol why would I be crying? He has 0 rings, you and Lebron should share a box of kleenex...that is if there's any left after he bricks all over your face.
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  22. #22
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    Originally Posted by GPx View Post
    Oh yeah and because Lebron fanboys don't hate on Kobe at all....gtfo.
    no one hates kobe..people hate on their fans because they're delusional, last year and many years before kobe was the best player in the league hands down. now hes not. his fans just wont accept it
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    Originally Posted by GPx View Post
    Oh yeah and because Lebron fanboys don't hate on Kobe at all....gtfo.
    lmfao

    99% lebron fans hate on kobe fans because kobe fans are so threatened by lebron's CLEAR dominance of the entire league that they bitch and moan about rings all day. by your own argument, tim duncan is a better player than kobe bryant.

    this thread is about lebron and jordan. go cry to kobe for not trying harder so that his stats would make him worthy of the comparison, allowing stat experts on espn to include him in articles like this.
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    Originally Posted by GPx View Post
    Jordan led his team to 6 rings, 0 without Pippen.

    Lebron has yet to win one, your garbage nostradamus act doesn't matter.
    jordan still led the teams to 6 though

    kobe led to 1 ring......0 without a great 7 footer
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    Originally Posted by jump_man23 View Post
    i dont understand why the kobe fanboys are such haters


    they should bow in the presence of greatness and realize kobe is no longer the greatest player in the league


    King!


    Last edited by SweatAndTears; 03-30-2010 at 05:16 PM.
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    Originally Posted by SweatAndTears View Post
    jordan though kwame brown was the best player in the 2001 draft............oh and adam morrison anyone?
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    only thing give kobe credit is he is good player in high stress moments and is a good player still but not on the level of lebron.
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    Number of rings they've led a team to without another hall of fame calibre player on the roster:

    Kobe: 1
    MJ: 0
    Shaq: 0
    LeBron: 0
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    Originally Posted by IamaMotherLover View Post
    jordan still led the teams to 6 though

    kobe led to 1 ring......0 without a great 7 footer
    dumbest argument jordan had allstar caliber team, he wouldn't have won without his support same with kobe. Kobe was huge factor in the 3 peat though to say otherwise is retarded.
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    Originally Posted by Greg1983 View Post
    Number of rings they've led a team to without another hall of fame calibre player on the roster:

    Kobe: 1
    MJ: 0
    Shaq: 0
    LeBron: 0
    number of rings without a superstar 7 footer

    mj 6

    kobe 0
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