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10 Players With The Most Points Per Game At Age 37+: LeBron James 1st, Michael Jordan 4th

10 Players With The Most Points Per Game At Age 37+: LeBron James 1st, Michael Jordan 4th

On December 30th, LeBron James turned 37 years old. One day after turning 37, LeBron scored 43 points against the Trail Blazers on 16 of 26 shooting, which included shooting 50% from three-point range. What LeBron is doing this season is nearly MVP-like. If it wasn’t for the team’s record, we would be talking about it more. Even though he’s not in the MVP race right now, we should be talking about it more.

When a player reaches their late 30s, the wear and tear of the NBA grind usually catch up. Not to mention, it’s harder to keep up with the likes of a 25-year old when you are 37. Needless to say, there are players in the past that have had special years at the age of 37 or older. LeBron’s 2021-2022 season is special. These other nine players are the others that have had the most points per game at the age 37 or older.

10. Tim Duncan - 15.1 PPG (37 Years)

Tim Duncan

2013-2014 Stats: 15.1 PPG, 9.7 RPG, 3.0 APG, 0.6 SPG, 1.9 BPG

On December 2, 2013, Duncan became the oldest player to record a 20-20 game in NBA history. Duncan finished the game with 23 points and 21 rebounds, which included a game-winning jump shot against the Hawks. The Spurs concluded the season with 62 wins, which was the most in the league.

Duncan didn’t dominate like his typical prime self but was good enough to be a key contributor to help the team make the NBA Finals. The Spurs defeated the Mavericks in seven games in the first round, Portland in five, and then the Thunder in six games in the Conference Finals. That set up a Finals rematch with the Heat, where the combination of Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker broke the record for most wins in playoff history and won the championship.

9. John Havlicek - 16.1 PPG (37 Years)

john havlicek

1977-1978 Stats: 16.1 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 4.0 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.3 BPG

In his final season in the league, Havlicek finished as the all-time leading scorer in Celtics history. This was a distinction that he held at the time of his death in 2019. He finished his career with 13 All-Star teams and eight NBA championships during his 16 years.

The final season for Havlicek saw him score a season-high 32 points. Havlicek scored 20 or more points 27 times in 82 games. Given his age and durability for so long, it was still a successful farewell season.

8. Johnny Green - 16.7 PPG (37 Years)

Johnny Green

1970-1971 Stats: 16.7 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 1.2 APG

Green saw a resurgence in his overall play the season before. He led the NBA in field goal percentage and then continued to surge the following year. At 37 years old, Green led the league in field goal percentage with 58.7%. That also included 16.7 points and 8.7 rebounds. He was also named to the All-Star Game for the fourth time in his career.

His best overall game came on December 20, 1970, where he scored a career-high 39 points in a one-point double-overtime loss to the Detroit Pistons. Imagine waiting until you are 37 to score your career-high. It’s possible because Green is evidence of doing it himself.

7. Kobe Bryant - 17.6 PPG (37 Years)

(via FanBuzz)

(via FanBuzz)

2015-2016 Stats: 17.6 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 2.8 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Bryant announced during the season that this year would be his last in the NBA. He tried to stray away from retirement tributes, but it was a farewell season. When the calendar year turned to 2016, Bryant took full advantage of all the shots he could take. On February 3, he scored a then season-high 38 points, including 14 of the team’s last 18 points in a 119-115 win over Minnesota. The win ended a 10-game losing streak.

His best performance came in the final game of the season. Bryant scored a season-high 60 points against the Jazz in his last NBA game ever. He outscored the entire Jazz team 23-21 in the fourth quarter. In the 101-96 win, Bryant became the oldest player to score 60 or more points in a game at 37 years, 234 days.

6. Dominique Wilkins - 18.2 PPG (37 Years)

Dominique Wilkins

1996-1997 Stats: 18.2 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 1.9 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.5 BPG

Before the 1996-1997 season, Wilkins had won the Greek Cup with Panathinaikos and was named the MVP of the Cup Final. However, he failed to win the national championship of the Greek League. After averaging 21.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 1.7 assists, Wilkins signed a contract with the Spurs to return to the NBA.

Wilkins was signed to help solidify the team’s bench. Instead, Wilkins led the team in scoring with 18.2 points. He would end up being the last Spur to wear #21 before Tim Duncan.

5. Dirk Nowitzki - 18.3 PPG (37 Years)

Dirk Nowitzki

2015-2016 Stats: 18.3 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.8 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.7 BPG

Nowitzki climbed up the all-time rankings during this season. That included scoring a season-high 31 points in a 118-108 win over the Lakers. One month later, he made a go-ahead basket with 19.2 seconds left to help the Mavericks beat the Nets. In this game, he passed Shaquille O’Neal into sixth place on the all-time scoring list.

Later that season, he reached the 29,000 career-point mark, which made him the sixth player ever to record that feat. His season-high was 40 points in a 132-120 overtime win over the Trail Blazers. It was his 20th career 40-point game and his first since 2014. It was also the first 40 point game by a player since Karl Malone in 2000-2001. Then, Bryant would break this mark in his final NBA game.

4. Michael Jordan - 22.9 PPG (38 Years)

Michael Jordan Wizards

2001-2002 Stats: 22.9 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 5.2 APG, 1.4 SPG, 0.4 BPG

On September 25, 2001, Jordan announced his return to the NBA to play for the Washington Wizards. He donated his entire salary as a relief effort for the victims of the 9/11 attacks. In an injury-plagued season, Jordan led the team in scoring, assists, and steals. Jordan finished 13th in the MVP voting.

Jordan suffered from torn cartilage in his right knee and with the soreness, the Wizards did not make the playoffs. He played in just 60 games, which was his fewest games played in a regular season since playing in 17 games during the 1994-1995 season.

3. Karl Malone - 23.2 PPG (37 Years)

Photo credit: GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images

Photo credit: GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images

2000-2001 Stats: 23.2 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 4.5 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.8 BPG

The Jazz finished with a 53-29 record with Malone and John Stockton leading the team once again. By now, Stockton was 38 years old, while Malone was 37. Malone missed shooting 50% from the field by 0.2%. Malone’s 41 points were second-most by a player age 37 or older until LeBron’s outburst at the end of the year.

As for Malone, he scored 30 points or more points 22 times this season. He scored at least 20 points or more 55 times. Given his age and the wear he had on his body leading up to this point, it’s pretty amazing what Malone was able to do. As a team, the Jazz lost in the first round of the playoffs.

2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - 23.4 PPG (38 Years)

Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

1985-1986 Stats: 23.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 3.5 APG, 0.8 SPG, 1.6 BPG

Kareem's best game of the season came on February 6 where he scored 46 points against the Rockets. It was his highest single-game total since scoring 48 points against the Trail Blazers on November 26, 1975. Even at the age of 38 years old, Kareem helped form a Lakers team that entered the season as the favorite to win the NBA championship after winning it the season before.

The Lakers were unable to make it back to the NBA Finals after losing to the Houston Rockets in the Conference Finals. Kareem would make the list as a repeated member with the sixth-best scoring total when he was 37 years old and the 12th best scoring mark when he was 39 years old.

1. LeBron James - 28.7 PPG (37 Years)

LeBron James

2021-2022 Stats: 28.7 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 6.6 APG, 1.8 SPG, 1.2 BPG

If the season ended today, LeBron would crush the best points per game mark for players aged 37 or older. LeBron has scored at least 20 or more points in all of the games this season except four times. He has scored at least 30 or more points 16 times out of 27 games. There’s a valid argument that the Lakers would be worse than 21-19 if LeBron wasn’t playing.

Once LeBron plays a few more games, he will enter the scoring race. His 28.7 points would be the second-most in the NBA and he would fight Kevin Durant for the title. If he can win the scoring title, he would be the oldest player ever to win a scoring title. The oldest player to ever win a scoring title was Michael Jordan at age 35.

  • Most Points Per Game Despite Repeated Players
  • 1. LeBron James - 28.7 PPG (37)

    2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - 23.4 PPG (38)

    3. Karl Malone - 23.2 PPG (37)

    4. Michael Jordan - 22.9 PPG (37)

    5. Karl Malone - 22.4 PPG (38)

    6. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - 22.0 PPG (37)

    7. Karl Malone - 20.6 PPG (39)

    8. Michael Jordan - 20.0 PPG (39)

    9. Dirk Nowitzki - 18.3 PPG (37)

    10. Dominique Wilkins - 18.2 PPG (37)

    11. Kobe Bryant - 17.6 PPG (37)

    12. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - 17.5 PPG (39)

    13. Johnny Green - 16.7 PPG (37)

    14. John Havlicek - 16.1 PPG (37)

    15. Tim Duncan - 15.1 PPG (37)


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