LeBron James, if you haven't noticed, is making his mark on being one of the best players in NBA history.
Yes, he still has a ways to go in championships to catch up to the greats. But, the consistency that he has done it with cannot be overlooked. And in the midst of the off-season, why not take a look at and remember just how terrific LeBron James is at basketball.
LeBron has led the NBA in Player Efficiency Rating (PER) for the last six seasons! The player efficiency rating is a rating of a player's per-minute productivity. It was generated by John Hollinger while he was with ESPN to rate players productivity against each other. It takes into account nearly every statistical category to generate a payer's worth. The league average is set at 15.00 every season.
In the past six seasons that James has led, he has won four MVP awards and been to three NBA Finals. And LeBron isn't just being the most efficient player out there, he is often doing it by a landslide.
Here is LeBron's PER ratings for the past six seasons with the runner-up in parenthesis (per ESPN.com):
2007-08 -- 29.15 (28.39)
2008-09 -- 31.76 (30.46)
2009-10 -- 31.19 (28.10)
2010-11 -- 27.34 (26.13)
2011-12 -- 30.90 (27.09)
2012-13 -- 31.67 (28.35)
Although James' numbers have fluctuated a bit, he has always remained on top. Four of those six years, Dwyane Wade has been in the top three of PER as well. But looking at these mere numbers don't speak volumes into what is happening here. LeBron on multiple occasions, especially the last two years, has blown the competition out of the water.
Being on top of the PER last year by 3.32 over Kevin Durant, was the same difference between James Harden and J.J. Hickson. LeBron has been running away with the league in his own style. in 2009, LeBron posted the 4th highest PER in NBA history behind Wilt Chalmberlain (twice) and Michael Jordan. And for his career, LeBron has the 2nd highest PER ever, behind Jordan. Even among active players, he is an entire 2.1 points above Chris Paul in second for their careers.
James isn't just the most efficient and best player in basketball, he is by far the most dominant. No one changes and commands the game more than LeBron James on both sides of the floor. Sometimes the media and fans can lost sight of the greatness we are witnessing because of the residual distaste of "The Decision." But with everything else aside, LeBron is dominating the NBA, and being efficient while he does it.
This past season, James became the first player to score 30+ points in 6 straight games while also shooting 60% or better. Efficient. Dominant.
And he's seemingly still getting better. LeBron is the king of the PER right now, and probably will continue to be until someone starts to close the gap a little smaller. It's possible that LeBron has been the best player in the NBA for over half a decade.
What do you think?
Is there anyone in history (outside of Jordan) who has dominated PER like LeBron?
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