Last season, LeBron James missed more than seven games (13 actually) for the first time in his NBA career and finished with his worst scoring average (25.3 ppg) since his rookie year.
Were those the first signs of decline for the four-time MVP? Time will tell, but if that’s the case no one should be surprised considering the mileage on his body.
At just 30, James has played more minutes in his pro career than many NBA legends. Combining minutes logged in the regular season, playoffs and FIBA competitions, he is already ahead of Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Jerry West, Clyde Drexler and Steve Nash, who played his last game at age 40. He will likely surpass Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing and Oscar Robertson next season.
When compared to other players born in 1984, the numbers are even more staggering. King James, who played his first pro game two months away from his 19th birthday in 2003, has logged 10,682 minutes more than Carmelo Anthony, the second most used 84er.
With many years left in his career, LeBron has a chance of finishing No. 1 all-time in minutes played and is pretty much a mortal lock to end up in the Top 4.
MINUTES PLAYED: ALL-TIME LIST
|1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar||57446||8851||0||66297|
|2. Karl Malone||54852||7907||278||63037|
|3. Jason Kidd||50111||6088||619||56818|
|4. Kobe Bryant||46774||8641||526||55941|
|5. Wilt Chamberlain||47859||7559||0||55418|
|-. Oscar Robertson||43886||3673||0||47559|
|-. Patrick Ewing||40594||5207||284||46085|
|-. Charles Barkley||39330||4849||276||44455|
|-. LeBron James||35769||7561||930||44260|
|-. Clyde Drexler||37537||5572||167||43276|
|-. Steve Nash||38069||4289||723||43081|
|-. Jerry West||36571||6321||0||42892|
|-. Larry Bird||34443||6886||144||41473|
|-. Allen Iverson||37584||3203||401||41188|
|-. Magic Johnson||33245||7538||108||40891|
|-. Isiah Thomas||35516||4216||0||39732|
MINUTES PLAYED: PLAYERS BORN IN 1984
|1. LeBron James||35769||7561||930||44260|
|2. Carmelo Anthony||30266||2579||733||33578|
|3. Chris Bosh||30158||3131||247||33536|
|4. Andre Iguodala||30104||2508||265||32877|
|5. Deron Williams||25102||2691||848||28641|
|6. Raymond Felton||23193||772||0||23965|
|7. Kendrick Perkins||16605||3369||0||19974|
|8. Andrew Bogut||17478||939||603||19020|