The 75 greatest players in NBA history, ranked by Player Efficiency Rating (PER)

The 75 greatest NBA players of all-time, ranked by PER

Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant
Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant / Harry How/GettyImages
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3.    LeBron James: 27.07

One-time preps to pro's phenom LeBron James is still going strong in year 21 and has somehow managed to shatter expectations at every turn. His longevity is staggering, and no player has ever played this well for this long. 

That has prevented him from slipping statistically, including in PER, ensuring that he will finish his career in the top-3 all-time in this category, just behind Michael Jordan, who is often compared to him in the discussion for greatest player of all time. 

This is not the end-all-be-all of that conversation, though LeBron has a chance to score more than 10,000 points than Jordan, which should help even out the score since Jordan has LeBron beat in championships with six to four.

Longevity is definitely in LeBron's favor, however, with him having played six more seasons and his 2023–24 season averages of 25.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 7.9 assists, which are shockingly close to his career average of 27.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 7.4 assists.

Statistically, there has been very little dropoff from LeBron, though with a career PER of 27.1, his current PER of 23 is actually hurting him somehow. That's what he gets for setting the bar too high.