LeBron James is officially the greatest scorer in NBA history. With 38 points against the OKC Thunder, the LA Lakers forward passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the all-time scoring list.
The four-time MVP is currently in his 20th season, yet has shown no signs of slowing down. In fact, he's playing much better than he played in the first season of his professional career.
Let's take a look at LeBron's stats in his rookie season and compare them to his stats in the 2022-23 season:
During his NBA debut against the Sacramento Kings, James was only 18. He appeared in 79 games for the Cleveland Cavaliers in his rookie season, averaging 20.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.6 steals and 0.7 blocks per game.
James did all of this while playing 39.5 minutes per game, which is incredibly high for a rookie. Additionally, the Cavaliers star shot 41.7% from the field, including 29.0% from the 3-point line.
In the 2022-23 season, LeBron James is averaging 30.2 points per game, the third-best mark of his career. He's also averaging 8.5 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 1.0 steals, and 0.5 blocks.
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The Lakers star has been much more efficient in his 20th season, as he's converted 50.8% of his shots. While he is not a great 3-point shooter, he's made 31.5% of his shots from deep.
What's even more impressive is the fact that "King James" is doing all of this in only 36.4 minutes of playing time per game.
The table below shows his stats per 36 minutes:
Best game by rookie and current LeBron James
LeBron James had one 40-point game during his rookie season. It came against the New Jersey Nets in March 2004 as he dropped 41 points on 15-for-29 (51.7%) shooting.
James also added six rebounds, 13 assists and three steals, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 3-point victory.
So far in the 2022-23 season, the four-time MVP has had four 40-point games. His January 2023 performance against the Houston Rockets has been arguably his best so far.
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In the game, LeBron had 48 points on 16-for-26 shooting (61.5%), eight rebounds and nine assists. He also finished the game with no turnovers and was 5-for-10 from the 3-point line.