LeBron James just wants to remind you that he's really, really good at basketball—and that he's better than Rudy Gay.
Against the Houston Rockets, Gay scored 29 points on 37 shots, taking the whole "I bomb more shots than I score points" argument to a whole different level. He became just the fourth player since 1985 to score under 30 points while attempting 36 or more field goals. Usually joining the company of Michael Jordan and Tracy McGrady can be construed as a good thing, but not here.
A few days later, LeBron dropped 39 points on 18 shots against the Dallas Mavericks. That's correct; he scored more than double the number of shots he attempted. That begs the question: How many points would LeBron score on 37 shots?
“If you give me 37 shots in a game, I’d have 60...70,” LeBron said, per ESPN's Tom Haberstroh.
Reporters laughed, but LeBron wasn't kidding.
"I had [almost] 40 now with 18 shots, I mean.... If you give me 37 shots in a game, I’d put up 60," he explained. "Easy."
His answer isn't as ridiculous as it sounds. LeBron has yet to score 60 points in a single game, but he has topped 50 nine times. In each of those contests, he has never attempted 37 shots.
As Haberstroh also points out, LeBron's points-to-field-goal ratio currently works in his favor. On the year, the Chosen One has scored 273 points on 164 shot attempts, or 1.67 points per shot attempted. Multiply 1.67 by 37 and you get 61.79. So, no, LeBron wasn't kidding.
Asked whether he would ever consider jacking up 37 shots in a single game, LeBron wasn't as serious in his answer.
"I don't know," he said in a video from the Sun Sentinel, brought to us by Brett Pollakoff of ProBasketballTalk. "There'd have to be overtime—there would have to be like five or six overtimes where I'm feeling good. I don't remember the last time I took 30 shots in a game."
The five or six overtimes bit is only slightly obnoxious.
LeBron has never taken 37 shots in a game. Ever. Not with the Cleveland Cavaliers; not with the Miami Heat. And the last time he attempted at least 30 shots was January 2013, when he hoisted up 31 against the Boston Celtics. Sure enough, that game went into double overtime.
The last time LeBron put up 30 or more shots in regulation was as a member of the Cavs in April 2010, coincidentally also against the Celtics.
"If I get 37 attempts, I'm going to make 25 of 'em," LeBron said in the above video.
Give him 37 attempts, and I'm sold on him scoring 60. Or 70.
*All stats compiled from Basketball-Reference and are accurate as of Nov. 14 unless otherwise noted.
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