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LeBron says if he took 37 shots in a game, he’d ‘put up 60. Easy.’

Nov 16, 2013, 4:30 PM EDT

LeBron James had a remarkably efficient performance in the Heat’s win over the Mavericks on Friday, even by his unprecedented standards.

James finished with 39 points in just under 37 minutes of action, and scored them by taking just 18 shots.

LeBron shot 14-of-18 from the field, good for 77.7 percent shooting, and made his only three-point attempt of the night while sinking 10 of 11 free throws.

Afterward, James was given a hypothetical to answer, and while his prediction initially might come across as bold, it’s actually closer to the truth than it may seem at first glance.

From Tom Haberstroh of ESPN.com:

James’ hyper-efficient shooting performance comes on the heels of Toronto Raptors forward Rudy Gay shooting 37 field goal attempts in an overtime loss to the Houston Rockets on Monday. Gay totaled just 29 points in more than twice as many attempts. …

After Friday’s game, James was asked about his reaction when he sees other players shooting 30 — or as much as 37 — attempts in a game.

“I had [almost] 40 now with 18 shots, I mean … If you give me 37 shots in a game, I’d put up 60. Easy,” James said.

After seeing James continue to put up staggering numbers while in the prime of his career, it’s hard to intelligently debate the accuracy of his comments.

  1. saint1997 - Nov 16, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    With his recent FG%, he would be shooting 28-37 that game. He’s not wrong…

  2. kb2408 - Nov 16, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    If he got hot, of course he could. So could any of the leagues great scorers. But until someone averages 50 a game for a complete season, who cares.

  3. naterich21 - Nov 16, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    Pierce hit 40 on just 16 shots last year and nobody cared about it lol

    • zoomy123 - Nov 17, 2013 at 2:06 AM

      Except he didn’t do that every game or almost every game, which makes it an anomaly. LBJ shot 56.5% last season and at one stretch had 6 straight 30 pt games while shooting 60%+. So, this isn’t anomalous for James, which makes it much more impressive.

    • mydoghasfleez - Nov 19, 2013 at 8:43 AM

      It’s this year & I still do not care.

  4. misterdreamer119 - Nov 16, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    I like this guy. He could be all about stats but he truly is all about his team winning. I mean he made the Cavs a 60 + win team. Its astonishing. And hes not a complete asshol like Jordan.

  5. titansbro - Nov 16, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    Then why doesn’t he? If it’s easy for him to score 60 on 37 shots, then why doesn’t he? If he doesn’t then his teammates are taking those extra 19 shots & if it’s easy for him then he should be doing it, not them. It’s a ridiculous thing to say because half of those would be bad shots. That’s why his fg% is so high, taking good shots, which is a good thing. The right answer there is to say, “Well if I’m taking 37 shots then half of those are gonna be bad shots so I won’t be doing that.”

    • peterjohnjoseph - Nov 16, 2013 at 5:54 PM

      I think it might have something to do with believing other players on his team can get it done too? I’m not the biggest Miami fan, but Lebron’s usual game plan is passing in the early portion of the game, and going off in the 3rd and even more in the 4th. I’m sure the Heat like to think they are a deeper team than having their Superstar already do 3x what he already is. Thats not to say its true, or false, but I’m assuming thats the answer.

    • cunby - Nov 20, 2013 at 8:08 AM

      He can easily get 19 good shots, by not making his teammates more effective, I’m thinking he could easily put up 37 shots a game, but they would 37 hard shot to get, with an entire defense focused purely on him, with him passing as much as he does, the defense has to be worried about players like Ray, Birdman, etc etc etc. thus making 19 easy shot more effective than 37 hard to get shots.

  6. mimaiheatdynasty - Nov 16, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    It is an honor to be a fan of this guy. Efficiency at its finest. Has the talent to do multiple things but is so unselfish.

    • belleby123 - Nov 17, 2013 at 7:59 AM

      If he’s so unselfish what would motivate him to even talk about taking that many shots? It’s as if he’s saying, “My teammates are losers compared to me, but I have to keep them involved.” I think we need to see the context of his quote.

      • mydoghasfleez - Nov 19, 2013 at 8:45 AM

        My fellow poster (bell boy) is a loser but we have to allow him to be involved.

    • belleby123 - Nov 17, 2013 at 8:02 AM

      Okay, I rewatched the video. I hate to say it, but I think he was just talking like that to goof around. He’s matured in the last couple of years, and really doesn’t come off as a jerk. Good for him.

  7. eugenesaxe1 - Nov 16, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    OK, so he can do simple math. Good for him?

    • ranfan12 - Nov 17, 2013 at 7:11 AM

      Good accomplishment considering how people like to call athletes dumb.

  8. mrlaloosh - Nov 16, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    Can’t wait for him to take his talents to the Cuyahoga River.
    Irving-James-Bynum era!

  9. billtetley53 - Nov 16, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    kb2408. Your lack of knowledge of the history of the NBA is astonishing. Wilt Chamberlain averaged 50.4 for a season, so it HAS been don before. I’m utterly embarassed for you that you don’t know that. That is twice in less than a week that you have made comments showing your lack of intelligence regarding seasons past. You’re 1st being that Olajuwon only had 4 good years. Might I suggest that you research the internet before you make your posts? You have a better chance of not looking dumb that way.

    Youre welcome.

    • kb2408 - Nov 16, 2013 at 9:00 PM

      That’s my point!! Thus, LeBron saying he could score 60 in one game is nothing! Do something that hasn’t been done. I really didn’t think I had to explain myself but obviously the IQ level on PBT is not very high today.

      • allday420ap - Nov 17, 2013 at 2:52 AM

        For the record, kobes is an overrated drama queen, Bes believ dat.

    • kb2408 - Nov 16, 2013 at 9:03 PM

      Oh, and just for clarification, I said Shaq and Hakeem only had 3 or 4 dominant seasons and centers like KAJ and Wilt were dominant longer. That is a fact!

  10. antistratfordian - Nov 16, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    Anybody who has watched LeBron for any length of time knows he can fill it up in a hurry. And it’s not that he just doesn’t miss when he’s hot, but it’s also the wanton manner in which he goes about being hot. He really turns into some other player. His cerebral game gets pushed to the side for a moment and he’ll start making shots from any and everywhere – running into pull up threes from 26 feet – that sort of thing. He becomes something like an enraged 6’9 Michael Jordan overloaded with dangerous levels of midi-chlorians.

    But he also doesn’t like to see his teammates left out of the fun. So almost in a George “I can sense the slightest human suffering” Costanza manner, LeBron seems keenly aware of the contentment of his squad. It’s then no surprise to find that James averages a staggering 8.4 assists whenever he scores 50 or more points. For comparison, Michael Jordan averaged 4.5 assists every time he scored 50+, Kobe Bryant averages 3.4 assists every time he scores 50+.

    LeBron is also the only player since the merger to put up 50 points and 10 assists more than once. So there is no doubt that he could easily score 60, or even 70, if that was a goal of his – but something like 50/10 is better for his team for all sorts of great reasons.

    • kb2408 - Nov 16, 2013 at 8:21 PM

      How many times has he scored over fifty is the question. If he hasn’t scored over 50 nearly as often as MJ or Kobe then that makes your point meaningless.

      • leahcima1 - Nov 16, 2013 at 8:28 PM

        You’ve totally missed the point so for you it is meaningless. For basketball fans it is spot on.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 16, 2013 at 9:16 PM

        LeBron has as many 50/8 games as Jordan and Kobe combined. He has 7 in 10 seasons. Jordan had 4 in 15. Kobe 3 in 17.

        Again, two of those games were 50 point, 10 assist games. How rare is that? Since the merger the 60 point plateau has been reached 22 different times. 50 points and 10 assists only 5 times – and LeBron has 2 of them.

      • deeballer - Nov 17, 2013 at 7:03 AM

        I’m sure Casualcomment has a stat for this, but from my memories of the Jordan 50+ games they lost practically everytime he did that didn’t they? What’s the point of doing that if your team is going to lose? When you’re the only scorer everyone else just stands around and out of the whole game.

    • kb2408 - Nov 16, 2013 at 8:36 PM

      Well, I did the research for you. MJ scored 50 or more 39 times, Kobe has done it 24 times, LeBron 8. So, to give his assists average without stating that he’s done it far fewer than the other two is very misleading.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 19, 2013 at 10:48 PM

        Their tendencies would remain the same whether its 8 games, or 16 games, or 24 games.

        That doesn’t really make a difference.

        LeBron averages 7 assists for his career so the chances of him getting 8 assists in any game, including 50 point games, is going to be (and has been) a lot higher. That’s one of the things that makes him better than those two guys.

  11. psung26 - Nov 16, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    “an honor to be a fan of this guy” – miamiheatdynasty
    — I’m taking my talents to South Beach (The Decision)

    “I’m all about team, I don’t care about myself” – LeBron
    — CHECK MY $TATS (The Shirt)

  12. kb2408 - Nov 16, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    Kobe scored 60…..in 3 quarters! LeBron has a habit of saying what he “could do.”

    • leahcima1 - Nov 16, 2013 at 8:37 PM

      Let me guess, you’re 13 years old and having a hard time with puberty?

      • kb2408 - Nov 16, 2013 at 8:54 PM

        MJ 39 times, Kobe 24 times and LeBron 8. Now do see how anti’s argument is misleading? Of course you don’t.

      • miamatt - Nov 16, 2013 at 10:47 PM

        Haha you nailed it, @leahcima1. If I had to guess, I’d say @kb2408 has childhood memories of the Shaq/Kobe dynasty, and maybe was more a real fan for the recent Lakers back2back. It shows in his comments over and over, even ones talking about players/events as recent as the early 2000s….LOL

      • thebigcaptain2011 - Nov 17, 2013 at 1:52 PM

        Jordan: 5, James: 4 Kobe: 1
        League MVPs
        See, I can have fun with numbers too!

    • jt1138 - Nov 17, 2013 at 12:02 AM

      Kind of like how Kobe “could” win more than one playoff series without Shaq or Pau…

    • silvertong1960 - Nov 17, 2013 at 5:22 PM

      yes he did and they still lost ! i’m not a laker fan but they are fun to watch cause they are playing team ball without Kobe

  13. lakerade - Nov 16, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    Only one way to find out, LeBron. Nice sentiment, though.

  14. billtetley53 - Nov 16, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    Who cares how many times someone has scored 50 or more points in a game? Is that supposed to mean something?!
    Jordan scored 63 points in a playoff loss.
    Kb, are you Vanessa or Joe Bryant? It seems that your taking your defense of Kobe as a personal issue. That’s not healthy or normal. I also wonder why you totally ignore the fact that you didn’t have the slightest idea that Wilt averaged 50 points a game for a season? I’d this a normal tack for you? You make a complete fool of yourself, so you ignore it and hope it goes away? I think the other poster is right, you must be 13 years old, or you have the mental acuity of one.

  15. Kevin S. - Nov 16, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    Sure it is: http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pgl_finder.cgi?request=1&player_id=jamesle01&match=game&year_min=&year_max=&age_min=0&age_max=99&team_id=&opp_id=&is_playoffs=N&round_is_eds=Y&round_is_edf=Y&round_is_ec1=Y&round_is_ecs=Y&round_is_ecf=Y&round_is_wds=Y&round_is_wdf=Y&round_is_wc1=Y&round_is_wcs=Y&round_is_wcf=Y&round_is_fin=Y&game_num_type=&game_num_min=&game_num_max=&game_month=&game_location=&game_result=&is_starter=&is_active=&is_hof=&pos_is_G=&pos_is_GF=&pos_is_F=&pos_is_FG=&pos_is_FC=&pos_is_C=&pos_is_CF=&c1stat=fga&c1comp=gt&c1val=30&c2stat=&c2comp=gt&c2val=&c3stat=&c3comp=gt&c3val=&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&order_by=pts

    • Kevin S. - Nov 16, 2013 at 9:36 PM

      Damn, didn’t mean to post that fast. LeBron’s never put up 37 shots in a single game, but of the 27 games with at least 30 FGA, there’s only a handful in which one could see him having a shot at 60 if he bumped his attempts up to 37, and that’s without considering that those marginal shots are likely to be on the more difficult side (otherwise he’d have taken them).

  16. 777cockymoney - Nov 16, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    Lebron is a better than kobe. scorer, a better passer, a better rebounder, he’s faster, more athletic, a higher jumper, a better defensive player, he’s more efficient, he’s tougher, he’s a better team player. How could you possibly think that Kobe is better? I bet you’re a bias Lakers fan.. That’s why LeBron is 3rd all time in scoring average and Kobe is 10th. Even if you remove Kobe’s years riding the bench, his career scoring average is still less than LeBron’s.

  17. billtetley53 - Nov 16, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    kb2408, you know nothing about Wilt. How could you not know he averaged 50ppg for a season? They are right, you have the mind of a 13 year old.
    You’re quite the little fanboy. You let your fanboyism cloud your very limited knowledge. You really should go read some books, at least on stats. Why would you want to continue to display your obviously limited intelligence?

    • allday420ap - Nov 17, 2013 at 2:50 AM

      GET EM!

  18. brugis23 - Nov 17, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    Kb2408, Classic dumb, idiotic, “self proclaimed lakers #1 fan I don’t know anything I’m talking about” stupid lakers fans, smh. Always looking stupid.

  19. torontofalcon - Nov 17, 2013 at 1:57 AM

    Lebron takes a lot of high percentage shots….the odds of him finding around 25/37 high percentage shoots is very unlikely. Just look at all of Kobe huge scoring games, he’ll get about 10-12 easy shots then the rest are ridiculously difficult shots. Not saying LBJ couldn’t put up big scoring numbers I’m just saying he can’t do it as efficiently as he believes he could.

    • silvertong1960 - Nov 17, 2013 at 5:26 PM

      Kobe refuse to pass the ball when his team mates are open

  20. uscoach - Nov 17, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    “I don’t care about myself” is probably not accurate. You don’t get to be as great as Lebron without that ego. But I do think that is a positive thing. To say, “It’s all about the Team” – he is right; and even as a guy who roots for Lebron to lose, I have to admit that he acts the way he talks. He could put up 40 a night, but it’s not good basketball and his Team would not be two-time Champs (in The Lebron era) like it currently is.

  21. spursareold - Nov 18, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    Doesn anyone STILL not understand why Memphis traded Gay?

  22. jeremy341a - Nov 20, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    to clarify the earlier comments Jordan’s teams were 29-10 when he scored 50+

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