Is LeBron an Android? What TV Character is Comparable to his Career?
LeBron James just became the 7th and youngest NBA player to surpass 30,000 points for his career; he is one of the most polarizing celebrities ever. Ask ten of your friends and I bet you get five who love him and five who hate him, there is no middle ground when talking about LeBron. This got me thinking just how incredible his career has been. I did some research and what I found blew me away. It also got me thinking, is LeBron even human or is he an android? If we were to compare him to a fictional character who would it possibly be?
LeBron is in his 15th NBA career which started all the way back in 2003 when he was the #1 overall pick by his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. Not many players last 10 years, let alone 15. Being a professional athlete is not easy on your body and most guys wear down over their career but not LeBron. Most players get better in their early seasons and begin to slow down as they get older and the game passes them by. LeBron had a similar progression but he has never slowed down:
-Season A: 74 games, 37.8 minutes per game, 54.8% field goal, 36.3% from 3, 8.6 rebounds per game, 8.7 assists, and 26.4 points
-Season B: 79 games, 39.5 mpg, 41.7 FG %, 29.3 3P %, 5.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 20.9 points
-Season C: 79 games, 38.8 mpg, 51 FG %, 33 3P%, 7.5 rebounds, 7 assists, and 26.7 points
Which season do you think is his rookie season versus his 8th season versus his 14th season? Option A is year 14, option B is his rookie year, and option C is year 8. He is basically playing the same number of minutes per game every year and the other categories have gone up as well. It's absolutely insane to look at, for reference I looked up MJs stats from his 14th season:
-60 games, 34.9 mpg, 41.6 FG%, 18.9 3P %, 5.7 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 22.9 points.
As far as comparing their 14th season, LeBron is blowing MJ out of the water. Breaking LeBron's numbers down into 3 categories, years 1-5, years 6-10, and years 11- 14 is even more impressive
Years 1-5 Averages: 78 games, 41 mpg, 46 FG%, 32 3P%, 6.9 rebounds, 6.6 assists, and 27.4 points
Years 6-10 Averages: 75 games, 38 mpg, 51.9 FG%, 35.5 3P%, 7.6 rebounds, 7.3 assists, and 27.7 points
Years 11-14 Averages: 74 games, 37 mpg, 53.1 FG%, 35.2 3%, 7.3 rebounds, 7.3 assists, and 26 points
Those are just his regular season numbers, he has been in the playoffs every year since 05-06 which adds up to 217 games and he averages 42.1 mpg. After looking at all these stats I would put LeBron's android percentage at 72%. It's incredible what he has been able to do and we may never see anything like it. (A hint for his fictional character comparison: she is from one of the most popular TV shows and has been going for 14 seasons.)
Injury History & Composure
Athletes get injured, it's just a fact, and most guys suffer a major injury that can ruin a whole season or parts of a season. In the NBA it's almost guaranteed that you will suffer a major knee or ankle injury, it's just part of the sport. Once again this "fact" doesn't apply to LeBron James, he has never suffered a major injury. Sure he has missed games here and there with pulled muscles or just to rest but can you blame the guy? He's played in a total of 1,107 regular season games and 217 playoff games. The NBA season is 82 games long and the least amount of games LeBron has played is 62, every other season he is in the 70s and 80s for games played. Even Jordan suffered a major injury in 85-86 when he only played in 18 total games after breaking his foot. In my opinion LeBron has only made one major mistake in his career off the court and that was his choice to televise "The Decision" where he chose to leave the Cavs and join the Miami Heat. He has since come out and said that was a mistake and he would do it differently if he could. Sure he goes on social media and everyone dissects everything he posts but every athlete is on social media and who knows what is going through their minds. LeBron has never had issues with the law off the court and on the court he has only been ejected from a game once. ONCE! That is crazy for a guy who is constantly getting the other teams best and is usually getting hacked all over the court. He was anointed "The Chosen One" as a kid and was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in February 2002 when he was a high school kid. He didn't start the comparisons to Jordan so you can't blame him for that either. How many celebrities that have been in the spotlight for that long have had multiple incidents in society? LeBron seems like a great family man as he is always talking about his sons and attending their games. For this category I am 100% thinking LeBron is an android, you just don't see people in the spotlight this long with a clean record like he has. (Hint #2: Onscreen she is the biggest person on the show but, like LeBron, you never hear from her off screen.)
Changed the NBA
Up until "the decision" LeBron had some of the worst teams in Cleveland. In 06-07 he carried them to the NBA Finals with a team consisting of Shannon Brown, Daniel Gibson, Drew Gooden, Larry Hughes (STL reppin'), Zydrunas Illgauskas, Eric Snow, and some other scrubs. Needless to say none of those guys played in the NBA for a long time or made lasting contributions. These were the types of teams LeBron had since he was drafted by Cleveland in 2003 and he finally got sick of it. He 2010 he made "The Decision" to join the Miami Heat and form the modern day super team with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. I know there were super teams before but this one felt different and changed the way of modern basketball for better or worse. In 2016, Kevin Durant joined the Warriors to compete against LeBron because he didn't believe he could win a title anywhere else. In today's NBA if you don't have multiple superstar players you don't stand much of a chance against the super teams (which sucks and needs to change, a little foreshadowing to a future blog topic). LeBron changed the NBA and really altered multiple player's career courses, KD joined the Warriors, D-Wade has more rings and left Miami, it was a snowball effect. People will always blame LeBron for joining Miami but can you blame him? He is compared to Jordan and just imagine if he never won a ring, there was no way he was going to win with what Cleveland was surrounding him with, absolutely no way. He would have been talked about like this, "He was one of the best players ever but he never won a ring" which is a dumb argument (which I wrote about previously check it out here). Comparing what Durant did to what LeBron did is a joke to, KD joined a team of Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and a good bench (and I don't blame KD either). LeBron joined a team of Wade, Bosh, and a bunch of old washed up guys. I don't know if you can put an android number on this section but he literally changed the way a league is played. (Final hint: She has had a revolving cast of characters around her and she carries the show to big ratings and is extremely successful)
So did you guess the fictional character I am comparing LeBron to? It is Meredith Grey, played by Ellen Pompeo, on Grey's Anatomy. Before I dig to deep and start comparing them, I have never really watched the show but my wife loves it and tells me all about it and I have been in the same room when she watches so I know a good amount about it. Also if you have not watched the entire show I will try not to spoil it but you have been warned. Pompeo has been on Grey's since 2005 and starred in 305 episodes. The show has been extremely successful since it started and is still one of the biggest shows on TV today. Multiple characters have been killed off of the show (or written out) but not Pompeo, she is one of 4 people to be in every single episode and really carries the show. The show is literally named after her character. Meredith does complicated surgeries and saves lives while LeBron did the impossible and brought a title to Cleveland. There are very few shows who have as long a run as Grey's has had or if they do go this long they lose their luster. This is not so with Grey's; my wife comes home every Thursday and it's the first thing she watches. I would have no idea who Ellen Pompeo is if it wasn't for Grey's Anatomy and you still never hear from her off screen (except for this awesome interview she gave to the Hollywood Reporter. Kind of like "The Decision" but definitely not a mistake). Pompeo just signed a new deal that makes her dramatic TVs highest earning actress and the show will go on "as long as she wants to do it" says Shonda Rimes, the show's creator. In 2015, Patrick Dempsey who played one of the biggest characters on the show, decided to leave which became a turning point for Pompeo. In previous negotiations Dempsey was used as leverage against Pompeo, "We don't need you, we have Patrick." But when Dempsey left, Pompeo realized she was the star and she controlled the shows future. Like LeBron she has made a significant impact and helped change the landscape for dramatic actresses.
Both LeBron and Pompeo have had incredible careers and who knows when they may end. One thing is for sure we need to cherish them while they are here because we may never see anything like either of them again.