- LeBron James is having an all-time season for a 35-year-old.
- The current record-holder for PER at 35 is Michael Jordan.
- LeBron is doing this through rest, body care, and motivation.
As LeBron James watches his hairline fade away, his game just seems to keep growing. King James turns 35 next month, but he’s leading the Lakers to the best record in the NBA with his usual gaudy statistics. James leads the NBA in assists per game (11.1) to go with 8.3 rebounds and 26.1 points. He’s currently on pace to have a season unlike we’ve ever seen from a 35-year-old.
Although it’s considered elderly in the NBA, there have been plenty of standout seasons by 35-year-olds. Take Alex English, who scored 26.5 points per game in 1988-89, or Steve Nash whose 11 assists per game helped lead the Suns to the conference finals in 2009-2010. But no one has put it all together like LeBron has, so far.
Player efficiency rating (PER) is one of the NBA’s leading, catch-all stats. According to its creator, ESPN’s John Hollinger,
The PER sums up all a player’s positive accomplishments, subtracts the negative accomplishments, and returns a per-minute rating of a player’s performance.
LeBron James is among elite company for PER this season.
Chasing that “Ghost in Chicago”
While LBJ is known as one of the best players ever, Michael Jordan still sits atop the pinnacle. Jordan has the highest career PER ever. He also still has the best PER for a 35-year-old with a 28.7. He was technically 34 for half of that season, but since LeBron won’t be 35 until December, we’ll make an exception. Jordan went on to lead the Bulls to the title that season.