LeBron James averaged 31.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 3.4 steals per game in his senior year at St. Vincent - St. Mary High School in Akron, O.H. It’s safe to say he’s been dominating for quite some time.
Perhaps the most physically gifted athlete we’ve ever seen, the 6-foot-8-inch, 250 pound small forward plays like a power forward and thinks like a point guard.
Realistically, James has the ability to play and defend all five positions effectively, with the ball skills, court vision and ability to get to the rim unlike anyone we’ve seen since Magic Johnson. If you were going to dream up the perfect basketball player or try to create one in a lab, James would be it.
Unfortunately for James, his decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the way he did so, in addition to his laid-back, fun-loving personality and his lack of championship hardware has allowed his domination to go unnoticed and underappreciated. For all those haters out there, let me drop some knowledge on you.
Player Efficiency Rating is a measurement that attempts to reduce a player’s contributions down to a single number. Using a detailed formula, PER sums up the player’s statistical performance per minute for that season. Take a guess at who leads the NBA in PER this season? That’s right, King James.
Not only does James’ current 30.86 PER lead the league, but runner-up Dwayne Wade is not even close. Wade has a 26.65 rating, while Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant rounds out the top three with a 26.48. Kobe Bryant you ask? Please, child. The “Black Mamba” doesn’t even crack the top 10 with a 22.31. James led the league in PER for four years running, ranks second all-time behind only Michael Jordan for his career and this season he has a shot at eclipsing the all-time PER mark of 31.89 set by Jordan in the 1987-88 season.
So hate on James because he doesn’t have that killer instinct or a championship ring, but keep in mind that Jordan didn’t win his first title until he was 28 years old. James turned 27 in December 2011.
Whether you like it or not, LeBron James is the most dominant athlete in sports and it’s been that way since he was a teenager.