LeBron James Is on His Way to the Best Regular Season in NBA History
Many NBA players have compiled incredible regular seasons.
Wilt Chamberlain's 50 point per game average in the 1961-62 NBA season will probably never be repeated, especially combined with staggering 25 rebounds per game and 48.5 minutes per game marks to go with it. (That's right, Wilt averaged more minutes than there are in a game, by playing every single second of every single game plus five overtimes. Wilt even played every second of a double-overtime game that closed out the season.)
Oscar Robertson averaged 30.8 points, 11.4 assists and 12.5 rebounds per game in the 1961-62 season, becoming the only player to ever average a triple-double over the length of a season.
Michael Jordan's most productive season saw him average 35 points per game and 31.7 Player Efficiency Rating (PER).
That's where LeBron James is looking this season. Those revered seasons are where James' 2011-12 campaign is headed if he can continue his otherworldly production.
LeBron's stats are not the biggest or best ever seen, but his efficiency is on course to be the best of any NBA player in any single season in history.
Wilt Chamberlain averaged his career high of 31.84 PER in the 1962-63 season. Michael Jordan reached 31.8 in the 1987-88 season.
Those are the top two PER season averages in history. LeBron's present mark? At 32.4, he is well on-track to surpassing probably the consensus top two players to ever grace the hardwood.
To make this more unique, LeBron is posting up his career efficiency whilst playing the least minutes in his career. He's also shooting an ungodly 55 percent from the field, a rate that is simply not fair to those trying to guard the strongest, fastest and most dangerous player in the NBA.
Averaging 27.4 points is a great clip, but teaming that with 8.1 rebounds, 6.8 assists, two steals and a block per game gives LeBron's 2012 year an all-round shine.
And the best part? LeBron might not even win this season's MVP award, making this another on the list of great players to never win the award.
Famously, the league and voters seemed bored giving Shaq the award as he dominated the league for year after year—Steve Nash won twice (yes, twice).
Perhaps that ends up happening to LeBron as both Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose are of the same value to their teams but neither are having as dominant seasons as the man in Miami.
It would be unfair to not give the award to LeBron if he does post a new NBA-record PER this season, especially if it is down to yet more voter anger towards his actions in the summer of 2010 (Derrick Rose was deserving of the nod last season, but a lot of votes winged his way on the back of "The Decision".)
There are two things that can derail this season: one is injury, the other is his own coach.
Injury could strike at any point and LeBron can do nothing to prevent an injury from ruining a historical season. His coach, Erik Spoelstra, could end up benching him once the Heat have locked up a top-two seed in the East.
Hopefully, LeBron makes his case and is able to complete this already-incredible season.
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