USA TODAY’s Jeff Zillgitt lists LeBron James’ place among the all-time statistical leaders in NBA Finals and NBA playoff history.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James just keeps moving higher in the NBA’s playoff and Finals record book by the game.
He passed John Stockton for second place on the NBA’s all-time playoff assist leaderboard in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, and in Game 5 on Friday, he will tie Derek Fisher for No. 1 on the league’s all-time postseason games played list.
He is already No. 1 on the all-time playoff scoring list, No. 1 in Finals triple-doubles, No. 1 in playoff minutes played, No. 1 in playoff steals and in the top five in several other categories.
James has a standard answer when asked what these accomplishments mean to him. First he says he will wait until his career is over to have an in-depth discussion about his place in NBA history.
Then, he offers this: “Anytime I’m linked with some of the GOATs (greatest of all time) that have played this game, it’s an unbelievable thing,” James said earlier in the playoffs. “You mentioned Timmy D (Duncan), Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar), Kobe (Bryant) as well. Just some GOATs that have played this game, paved the way for myself.
“Hopefully I’ll leave it, when I’m done with my career, in a better place than what I started because of what they did, the groundwork they did, the examples they set. Just blessed to be a part of this.”
Amazing longevity and sustained success have allowed James to etch his name in the record books. Let’s take a look at where James stands among the all-time playoff and Finals leaderboards:
No. 1 in playoff points with 7,423 — 1,436 ahead of No. 2 Michael Jordan.
No. 1 in playoff steals (441).
No. 1 in playoff field goals (2,643).
No. 1 playoff free throws (1,730).
No. 1 in Finals triple-doubles (10).
No. 1 in playoff minutes played with 10,728 — over 1,300 more than No. 2 Duncan.
No. 1 in playoff games played on Friday night in Game 5 with 259 — that’s three more seasons of games.
No. 2 in playoff two-pointers made with 2,236 — 120 behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
No. 2 in playoff 3-pointers made with 407 — 63 behind Steph Curry.
No. 2 in playoff defensive rebounds with 1,933 — 148 behind Duncan.
No. 2 in playoff assists with 1,854 — with an outside chance to catch Magic Johnson at 2,346 if he advances deep into the playoffs three or four more times.
No. 2 in playoff triple-doubles with 27 — three behind Johnson.
No. 2 in Finals steals with 89 — 13 behind Johnson.
No. 2 in Finals points with 1,494 — 185 points behind Jerry West.
No. 2 in Finals assists with 413 — 171 behind Johnson.
No. 2 in Finals field goals with 560 — 52 behind West.
No. 3 in Finals appearances with 10 — only Bill Russell (12) and Sam Jones (11) have more.
No. 3 in Finals 2-pointers made with 466 — behind West and Abdul-Jabbar.
No. 3 in Finals minutes played with 2,252 — behind Russell and West.