Happy Birthday to The King!
On Wednesday, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James turned 36 years old.
Join us in wishing @KingJames of the @Lakers a HAPPY 36th BIRTHDAY! #NBABDAY pic.twitter.com/5tAWGV7gQy- NBA (@NBA) December 30, 2020
To celebrate the occasion, here are four stats to know about James on his 36th birthday.
999: How many consecutive games LeBron has scored double-figure points in the regular season
Let's start here: James could make history when he takes the court against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.
If he scores 10 points, James will become the first player in NBA history to record 1,000 straight games of scoring in double figures.
Happy 36th birthday, @KingJames!- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 30, 2020
LeBron has scored 10+ points in 999 straight regular season games.
Tonight against the Spurs, he can celebrate his birthday by becoming the 1st player in NBA history to post 1,000 straight such games. pic.twitter.com/bvtuRi74IM
The last time James scored less than 10 points? Jan. 5, 2007, back when he was 22 years old. It's one of only nine regular season games in which James has failed to score at least 10 points to this point of his career.
If you were wondering, Michael Jordan has the second-longest streak in NBA history with 866 straight games of scoring in double figures. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (787), Karl Malone (575), Kevin Durant (562) and Moses Malone (526) are the only other players in NBA history with at least 500 such games, per Stathead.
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34,332: How many total points LeBron has scored in the regular season
It's the third-most all-time.
Entering Wednesday's game against the Spurs, James trails Malone in second place on the all-time scoring list by 2,596 points and Abdul-Jabbar in first place by 4,055 points. If James maintains a scoring average of 20.0 points per game for the foreseeable future - a safe bet considering the fewest points he's averaged since his rookie season is 25.3 - he'd catch Malone in 130 games and Abdul-Jabbar in 203 games.
So assuming he stays healthy, James could pass Malone at some point in the 2021-22 season and Abdul-Jabbar at some point in the 2022-23 season to become the NBA's all-time leading scorer.
Not bad for someone who has never fancied himself as a scorer, huh?
59,484: How many minutes LeBron has logged in the regular season and playoffs
James currently ranks eighth all-time in regular season minutes (48,673) and first all-time in postseason minutes (10,811). Combine them, and only - who else? - Malone (62,759) and Abdul-Jabbar (66,297) have logged more career minutes than James.
The crazy thing is that James is still arguably the best player in the league despite all the miles he's racked up. He's coming off of a season in which he averaged 25.3 points, 10.2 assists and 7.8 assists per game, numbers that helped him finish second behind Giannis Antetokounmpo in MVP voting. He then led the Lakers to their first championship in a decade, taking home his fourth Finals MVP award along the way.
According to Stathead, James posted a Player Efficiency Rating of 25.5 in the 2019-20 regular season, the third-best single-season PER ever registered by someone 35 years or older. He then posted a PER of 30.2 in the playoffs, the best-ever by someone 35 years or older who went on an extended run.
PER is far from a perfect stat, but ... yeah, what James is doing at this stage of his career isn't normal.
10: How many times LeBron has been in the Finals
One of the most mind-boggling stats you'll ever come across: James has more Finals appearances than 27 current franchises.
The only teams that have been to the Finals more times than James are the Lakers (32), Boston Celtics (21) and Golden State Warriors (11).
LeBron now has more NBA Finals appearances than all but three franchises 🤯 pic.twitter.com/N1C0nqfVcX- ESPN (@espn) September 27, 2020
James has done plenty of damage in the Finals. In addition to four championships and four Finals MVPs, he's scored the second-most points in Finals history, dished out the second-most assists, grabbed the fourth-most rebounds, made the second-most 3s and recorded the most triple-doubles.
James' runs to the Finals might not be over either. When it's all said and done, there might only be two teams with more Finals appearances than him.
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