MVPs, 30-point games, season averages – Where LeBron trails Jordan after points milestone
LeBron James boosted his claims to be the greatest player in NBA history as he edged past Michael Jordan's points total on Wednesday.
The Los Angeles Lakers star contributed 31 points during a 115-99 loss against the Denver Nuggets to nudge ahead of the Chicago Bulls great (32,292), moving up to 32,311.
And so debate will rage again about who might be the greatest of all time, with James and Jordan certainly at the forefront of any discussion.
But by many measures, James still falls short of Jordan. We take a look at some statistics where the retired star still has the advantage.
James might now have the edge in terms of points, but that does not mean he has yet matched Jordan's tallies in terms of field goals or free throws made.
Jordan made 12,192 field goals (fourth best) and 7,327 free throws (fifth best) to James' 11,748 (sixth) and 7,101 (eighth).
And Jordan certainly enjoyed more one-off outstanding games, topping the charts in NBA history in terms of 30-point performances with 562. James has 442 so far to lie third.
The 56-year-old also had an incredible knack of converting those displays into much higher points tallies, scoring 40-plus points on an incredible 173 occasions, as well as 50-plus points 31 times. LeBron is a way off on both.
All these numbers combined to see Jordan average 30-plus points per game in eight seasons, as well as 30.1 points per game through his career. Both numbers are NBA highs.
Jordan was not just about points, though. He made 2,514 steals in his career and averaged 2.3 per game. This is an area in which James lags behind comparatively, ranking 17th and 60th in NBA history.
Of course, as two of the greatest to have ever played the sport, individual honours are a guarantee. Jordan won five seasonal MVP awards, tying for second all-time. James is tied for fourth with his four.
In NBA Finals, nobody has been able to match Jordan and his six MVP awards. Incredibly, James is in a tie for second yet three behind on three.