This astounding stat proves Nikola Jokic is one of the greatest of all time

Sacramento Kings v Denver Nuggets
Sacramento Kings v Denver Nuggets / Alysa Rubin/Clarkson Creative/GettyImages

On January 19, 2024, Nikola Jokic helped lead the Denver Nuggets into Boston to defeat the Celtics 102-100, handing them their first home loss of the season in the process. Jokic was phenomenal as expected in this game, recording 34 points (on 14/22 shooting), 12 rebounds, and 9 assists. Following the game, he also officially surpassed Michael Jordan for the #1 spot in all-time player efficiency rating (PER).

Since PER is an advanced statistic that can move up and down, there was a chance that Jokic and Jordan would continue to jump back and forth between the #1 and #2 spots. In reality, however, Jokic topped Jordan’s 27.91 PER mark and hasn’t looked back. It’s been one month since the initial surpassing, and The Joker hasn’t looked back since, currently boasting a 27.96 PER. Jokic, Jordan, and LeBron James are currently the only three players in NBA history with a career PER greater than 27.00.

Top 10 all-time NBA/ABA PER rankings:

  1. Nikola Jokic (27.96)
  2. Michael Jordan (27.91)
  3. LeBron James (27.07)
  4. Anthony Davis (26.85)
  5. Shaquille O’Neal (26.43)
  6. David Robinson (26.18)
  7. Wilt Chamberlain (26.16)
  8. Bob Pettit (25.45)
  9. Giannis Antetokounmpo (25.28)
  10. Kevin Durant (25.20)

Player efficiency rating obviously isn’t everything when evaluating players, but anytime a metric’s top 10 rankings include nothing but hall of famers and future hall of famers, it likely has some meaning… And at least for now, Jokic is the PER leader, ahead of the two greatest players in NBA history… and that likely has some meaning as well.