CLEVELAND -- Since Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James was playing high school basketball for Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, he has been compared to the game's greatest athletes, most notably, Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan.
James turns 33 today, and here is a comparison of him at this age versus Jordan at 33.
JAMES HOLDS ADVANTAGE IN MANY CATEGORIES
James always fancied himself more like Los Angeles Lakers hall of famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson rather than Jordan, but his statistics compare quite favorably to “His Airness.”
Although Jordan averaged more points per game, 29.6 to 27.8, James is well ahead in assists (9.3 to 4.3) and rebounds per game (8.2 to 4.3), as well as field goal percentage at age 33. James has converted .560 of his field goal attempts, while at age 33, Jordan knocked down shots at a .486 clip.
Jordan won his fifth NBA Championship with the Bulls at age 33, and should James lead the Cavaliers back to the top of the mountain for the second time in three years, it would be his fourth league title, as he previously won two with the Miami Heat.
NO SIGNS OF SLOWING DOWN
Now in his 15th NBA season, James is seemingly playing at his best.
Currently, James ranks third in the NBA in scoring (27.8 points per game), is shooting at a career-high .560 percentage, and his personal-best 9.3 assists per game rank second in the league. Additionally, James has corralled 8.2 rebounds, collected 1.5 steals and blocked 1.0 shots per game.
James' scoring, rebounding, assists and blocked shots averages are his highest since returning to Cleveland in July of 2014.
James has 23 double-doubles and seven triple-doubles in 35 outings this season.
James has twice been named the NBA's Eastern Conference Player of the Week in December, and has now won an NBA-record 59 such awards.
From December 11 to December 17, James led the Cavaliers to a perfect 4-0 record with wins over the Atlanta Hawks (123-114), Los Angeles Lakers (121-112) and Utah Jazz (109-100) at Quicken Loans Arena before a 106-99 victory over the Washington Wizards at the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.
James averaged a triple-double of 24.8 points, 10.5 rebounds and 13.5 assists along with 1.3 steals over 38 minutes per game. Additionally, James shot 52.2 percent from the field.
During the week, James recorded three straight triple-doubles for just the second time in his career. The first trio of triple-doubles came between March 7 and March 12, 2009, which was the same season in which James earned his first NBA Most Valuable Player Award.
In the win over the Hawks, James registered the third-best single-game field goal percentage of his career, making 11 of his 13 looks at the basket (.846) on the way to 25 points and 17 assists, which matched his single-game personal best for helpers.
James started the streak of triple-doubles with a 25-point, 12-rebound, 12-assist showing against the Lakers, and followed it up with a 29-point, 11-rebound, 10-assist outing against the Jazz, which was his 60th career triple-double and moved him past Larry Bird for sixth in NBA history.
James scored 20 points, pulled down 12 rebounds and handed out 15 assists over 41 minutes against the Wizards. James' fourth basket of the game moved him ahead of Hakeem Olajuwon for ninth place on the NBA's all-time field goals made list.