LeBron James: 10 Players That Outscored Him in an NBA Finals
LeBron James' place in basketball history has been a hot topic of discussion, while sifting through the aftermath of the 2011 NBA Finals. Throughout his career, LeBron has been compared to the greatest basketball players of all time, from Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan to Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson. LeBron's 17.8 points per game in the NBA Finals 2011, might have established the need to question those comparisons.
Here are 10 players that have given comparable scoring performances since the 2000 NBA Finals.
10. Paul Pierce: Boston Celtics, 2010, 18.0 PPG
As part of the 2010 Boston Celtics three-superstar attack (or four if you count Rajon Rondo), Paul Pierce scored 18 a game in the seven-game series with the Lakers.
9. Pau Gasol: Los Angeles Lakers, 2009, 18.6 PPG; 2010, 18.57 PPG
Complementing Kobe Bryant's NBA Finals dominance, Pau Gasol scored 18.6 PPG in 2009 and 18.57 PPG in the 2010 Finals.
8. Manu Ginobilli: San Antonio Spurs, 2005, 18.7 PPG
Ginobilli's third season in the NBA resulted in a championship and a spot on the Western Conference All-Star team as a reserve. Manu averaged 18.7 PPG for the Spurs in the 2005 NBA Finals.
7. Chauncey Billups: Detroit Pistons, 2004, 21.0 PPG
The balanced attack of the 2004 NBA Champion Detroit Pistons included five players who averaged double-digit points per game. Chauncey's play at point guard led to a team-leading 5.2 assists per game, but also 21 points per game.
6. Jason Kidd: New Jersey Nets, 2003, 19.7 PPG; 2002, 20.8 PPG
Jason Kidd took on a different role for the Mavs to win the 2011 Finals, but in 2002 and 2003, Kidd's role as a scorer for the Nets resulted in 19.7 and 20.8 PPG.
5. Jason Terry: Dallas Mavericks, 2006, 22.0 PPG; 2011, 18.0 PPG
Not only did "Jet" average 22 in the 2006 finals, but he also outscored LeBron in the 2011 Finals with 18 a game off the bench.
4. Richard Hamilton: Detroit Pistons, 2004, 21.4 PPG
The three-time NBA All-Star contributed 21.4 points a game in the 2004 Finals, on his way to winning the NBA championship with the Pistons.
3. Kenyon Martin: New Jersey Nets, 2002, 22.0 PPG
With a career average of 13.5 points per game, Kenyon led the Nets with 22 points a game while being swept by the Lakers in '02.
2. Jalen Rose: Indiana Pacers, 2000, 23.0 PPG
The former Fab Five member might have benefited from his college experience in order to average 23 a game in a losing performance to the Lakers.
1. Hedo Turkoglu: Orlando Magic, 2009, 18.0 PPG
The 6'10" power forward from Turkey, who is characterized by Wikipedia as possessing "above-average ball-handling and playmaking skills for a forward", rose to the occasion in the 2009 NBA Finals to average 18.0 PPG, well above his career average of 11.4.