What more is there to say about LeBron James that hasn’t already been said? The man is a phenomenon. On the verge of his fourth Most Valuable Player award–joining only Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Russell in doing so–LeBron’s game has evolved and progressed since his days in Cleveland, and even since his first season in Miami. Is this the greatest season of his career so far?
Something that is often forgotten or simply assumed is the versatility that King James possesses. Able to defend every single position on the floor, LeBron has drastically improved on the defensive end of the floor. So much so, that he finished second in the voting for Defensive Player of The Year. At 6’8’’, LeBron’s agility and quickness, combined with his superhuman strength and incredibly high basketball IQ means he is the best on-ball defender in the league — either on the perimeter or in the post.
Then there’s the offensive end of the floor. In Cleveland, LeBron was more of a high-volume scorer–often taking many inefficient 3s. In the season before he “took his talents to South Beach,”’ James attempted 5.1 3s per game, compared to just 3.3 this season. His outside stroke–when used–has improved dramatically. It is now a touch better than 40 percent, which is very respectable–and shows just how much LeBron works on his game. His field goal percentage and 3-point percentage are both the highest they have ever been; LeBron has turned into some kind of efficient robot of basketball–with a PER of 31.6 which is the second-highest mark of his career and in the top 10 all-time.
James has taken his game and just improved year on year. He set career highs in almost every category, he could have won DPOY and led the Miami Heat to the best record in the NBA–including a 27-game winning streak. It was undoubtedly the best regular season in his career. Yet, is that enough? It is too early to pencil it in as his best-ever season, as he’ll need to repeat last year’s playoff performances to do that. But knowing LeBron, he’ll do just that. We are witnessing greatness unfold before our eyes–drink it in; appreciate it. Your children–like I asked people older than me about Michael Jordan–will ask about LeBron James in the future. So tell them. Tell them his ruthless efficiency. Tell them about the way in which he ran the offense while being the primary scorer. Tell them about one of the greatest players to take to the hardwood.