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LeBron James passes Michael Jordan in playoff counting stat

May 27, 2014, 10:33 AM EDT

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game 4 Getty Images

LeBron James slammed a highlight dunk, scored 32 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished five assists.

All in all, the Heat’s Game 4 win over the Pacers was a pretty ho-hum outing for LeBron.

And that’s absolutely ridiculous.

Games like this shouldn’t be routine. Thanks to LeBron, they seem like they are.

In the last six years, LeBron has hit 32-10-5 in the playoffs more than the rest of the NBA combined (12 times to 11). Rejigger the point-rebound-assist numbers a little, and LeBron took the all-time lead last night.

Is LeBron the greatest player ever?

No. Not yet. He just hasn’t played long enough to deserve it. Being the greatest player ever requires both an incredible peak — check — and a lengthy run of being at least very good. LeBron doesn’t quite have the latter yet.

But he’s getting there. LeBron will retire as the greatest player of all time, and the more he passes Jordan in counting stats, the more difficult that will be to deny.

For now, though, Jordan retains his title.

The cutoffs were set to give LeBron the edge. Make it 30-5-5 games, and Jordan holds the lead. Jordan was arguably better in his 25-5-5 playoff games than LeBron was in his:

  • LeBron: 32.2 points, 9.3 rebounds and 7.4 assists
  • Jordan: 35.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 7.5 assists

On the other hand, LeBron has hit 25-5-5 in nearly half his playoff games. Nobody else on that list comes close:

  • LeBron James: 49%
  • Michael Jordan: 41%
  • Larry Bird: 32%
  • Kobe Bryant: 24%
  • Jerry West: 30%

At some point, LeBron will decline and his percentage will fall as he adds more postseason games to the sample that don’t occur during his prime. But that day is still a ways off.

In the meantime, LeBron is just beginning his run of beating Jordan’s career records.

  1. dvic13 - May 27, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    Good try, but I’m not biting. Another senseless MJ vs. Lebron debate? Not today, not until both are done playing.

    • miamatt - May 27, 2014 at 10:57 AM


    • teabone413 - May 27, 2014 at 4:38 PM


  2. finsfan71 - May 27, 2014 at 10:46 AM

    Don’t understand what the obsession is in comparing the two. Can’t we just appreciate greatness when we see it?

    • jimeejohnson - May 27, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      if you’re a hateful Loser, and most likely from New Yawk, no, you can’t appreciate greatness but you know the opposite of greatness better than anyone.

    • leahcima1 - May 27, 2014 at 11:43 AM

      finsfan7 Well said. Any true and knowledgeable hoops fan I believe would also agree.

  3. SBoy - May 27, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    Stats prove who holds records, they don’t prove who is best. LBJ has earned his way into the conversation but will not go down as better than MJ.

    • jimeejohnson - May 27, 2014 at 11:22 AM

      Wonder which team MJ like to DESTROY the best: it’s the joke Knicks!

    • teabone413 - May 27, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      and you know this b/c you’re from the future? only morons talk in absolutes when the results arent even in yet.

  4. mjacobs45 - May 27, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    If LeBron only gets 3-4 rings, all the stats in the word are irrelevant.

    • worldbfree4me - May 27, 2014 at 11:03 AM

      If rings alone make one a G. O. A. T. then Bill Russell and Robert Horry should lead this conversation..

    • aboogy123456 - May 27, 2014 at 11:12 AM

      the number of rings is just another stat.

    • bigmeechy74 - May 27, 2014 at 11:59 AM

      that’s moronic

    • jolink653 - May 27, 2014 at 12:15 PM

      If OKC wins this year, Derek Fisher would have more rings than Kobe and MJ. Does that make him better than either one? Rhetorical question, obviously, because we know the answer

  5. aboogy123456 - May 27, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    This is why I hate stats so much. People are over reliant on stats and it’s a shortcut to thinking in depth about the game.

    • finsfan71 - May 27, 2014 at 11:07 AM

      Are you listening, Paul George?

    • kghane - May 27, 2014 at 11:51 AM

      I totally agree! Here’s an example: Rashard Lewis hadnt scored a single point over the last two games, yet he was a +35. Not only does that show that stats can be misleading & contradicting, it also shoes that stats don’t tell how much a player impacted the game. In Game 2, Lewis played great D on West & was hustling on every play. Stats won’t tell you that. IMO we should stop comparing & picking & choosing which stats we like & just appreciate greatness.

  6. money2long - May 27, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    I thought Kobe didn’t dish the rock

  7. bucrightoff - May 27, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    I wanna see a Kobe and LeBron comparision. Not cause I really care that much about that, I just wanna see the comment war that would go on.

    • toycannoni - May 27, 2014 at 11:45 AM

      meh….the king left kobe behind a long time ago….on to bigger and better idols to slay

      doubt kobe will ever be the same again, so his stats are pretty meaningless, despite having a 20 year career, when it’s all said and done

      • money2long - May 27, 2014 at 10:49 PM

        Out of sight out of mind.
        Funny how people diminish Kobe even in the slightest.

      • toycannoni - May 28, 2014 at 8:59 AM


        sorry you see it that way

        the facts show that kobe isn’t even the GOAT at his position

        he had 1 mvp and 1 finals mvp in 18 years

        in my opinion that won’t get it done when you’re talking GOAT

        people can talk about his 5 rings all they want, but out of the 5 he was only mvp in 1 of them, telling you that someone else was the big factor in the winning the ring

  8. cantonbound13 - May 27, 2014 at 11:18 AM

    Let’s see, MJ never lost a Finals series 6-0. MJ never had to go 7 games in any Finals series. He never had a top 5 player or 2 team up with him to win a title. Who ever doubts that statement just tell me what did Pippen do without MJ? Nada! Zip! Zero! Wade lead a team to a title without LBJ. MJ had to beat future hall of famers: Magic, Larry, Isiah, Malone, Barkley, Stockton, Olajuwon, Ewing, Robinson, Miller, Shaq, Mourning etc… The competition was far greater & the game was 10x more physical.
    There is no comparison.

    • buffalowned - May 27, 2014 at 1:31 PM

      And I forgot to mention Dirk and Steve Nash. I’m probably missing some more but the point is there are plenty of hall of famers from this era. Don’t act like there is no competition.

    • teabone413 - May 27, 2014 at 4:37 PM

      what was it obama said, “When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don’t really have to do anything, you just let them talk,”

      you keep doing this every singe time you post.

    • terrence1922 - May 27, 2014 at 4:47 PM

      Pippen led chicago to another deep playoff run without an all star on his side and Wade had Shaq who was still averaging just over 20 and 10 a game. Your point? Right Shut up and pray for those good ol Knickerbockers lol.

      • cantonbound13 - May 28, 2014 at 8:21 AM

        Deep playoff run? They lost in the second round!!! He couldn’t even get to the conference finals! He had the same team around him that won the title the year before minus Jordan! You probably don’t know he went to a stacked Portland team & teamed up with Barkley in Houston. Still, no championships!
        Since you have no idea about basketball prior to the last 4 years, google Shaq’s stats in the 2006 Finals. He was hardly a factor, idiot! Wade, with questionable officiating, carried that team.
        Bottom line: You need to shut up, bandwagon heat fan, because you have no clue what you’re talking about.

    • calkinsrob - May 27, 2014 at 4:50 PM

      Can anyone see this comment? ^^ You can dislike this all you want. Just pisses me off when I want to see what others think about my thoughts on these articles and somehow my comments dont make it on the board.

      • jimeejohnson - May 27, 2014 at 6:12 PM

        Try refreshing your browser. Then, you will see your comments. Happens to everyone.

  9. reesesteel23 - May 27, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    He dished the rock 52 times in 45646 years. Congratulations.

  10. jzone954 - May 27, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    And save the Ewing talk because Pippen was dunking all over Ewing even more then MJ ok?

  11. jzone954 - May 27, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    Following the game 7 victory in 2013 , Lebron is on the TNT post with magic sitting next to him and I quote “you know Lebron, and I really mean this….I think you are going to be THE BEST EVER”- yes Magic Johnson said this.

    • gpatrick15 - May 27, 2014 at 12:14 PM

      Magic Johnson never has anything bad to say about anyone (unless it’s a coach). He’s the Jon Gruden of NBA commentary.

      • toycannoni - May 27, 2014 at 12:27 PM

        huge difference, gp…. in saying something nice about someone vs declaring the king as the GOAT

    • cantonbound13 - May 28, 2014 at 8:48 AM

      Magic???? He speaks nicely about Donald Sterling! He never says anything bad about anyone. Congratulations!! That was the dumbest comment ever on PBT.

  12. jzone954 - May 27, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    I’ll post it again if you missed
    It- Following the game 7 victory in 2013 , Lebron is on the TNT post with magic sitting next to him and I quote “you know Lebron, and I really mean this….I think you are going to be THE BEST EVER”- yes that was Magic Johnson

    • soopreme - May 27, 2014 at 12:22 PM

      I would expect Magic to say that because there is similarity in their games but Lebron is much more athletic than Magic but the real separation between the two is on the defensive end.
      Lebron may not be the prolific scorer that MJ was but that is really not his game.
      When its all said and done, Lebron will go down as greatest all around player that ever played this game!

      • toycannoni - May 27, 2014 at 12:33 PM

        agree totally soopreme….bron controls the game just like magic did, but there is a lot more to his game than the magicman had

    • dedalus13 - May 27, 2014 at 3:31 PM

      Magic said “going to”. Implied thus “if you keep up with great perfs years after years”. Not done yet, time will tell…

      And by the way I’m not sure Magic would consider holding a 25-5-5 games record brings means GOAT. Did everyone notice that himself was not in the top five? If I had been asked, I would have named him over Kobe – and West – for sure…

  13. jzone954 - May 27, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    I’m just comparing what a legend and one of the greatest player of all time said about believe Lebron will be the best ever vs the regular average joe working a 9-5 Who has never touched a ball or played in a game in their entire life saying no…..who’s opinion you think matters? Exactly…

    • asimonetti88 - May 27, 2014 at 1:16 PM

      I love Magic, but he says a lot of things that make me shake my head.

      • jimeejohnson - May 27, 2014 at 6:11 PM

        Magic was magic. His relationship with Larry Legend on the other coast was a thing of beauty.

  14. southbeachtalent - May 27, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    I love lamp!

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