“Bron-Gevity” | Matt Barnes Invents Word To Describe The Brilliance Of LeBron James In Year 19

The Los Angeles Lakers are having a poor season, but their superstar LeBron James is not. In his 19th NBA season at 37 years of age, he is leading the league in scoring, is sixth in EPM, and will have a shot at making his 14th All-NBA first team.

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We’ve never seen anyone this excellent at this stage of their career. ESPN’s Matt Barnes coined what we’re seeing as “Bron-gevity.”

“Bron-gevity,” said Barnes. “I think the fact that he’s been able to come into the league and be in his prime since Day One. He’s 37 years old and is leading the league in scoring.”

Basketball Reference has a metric called similarity score. The metric uses win shares to find players whose careers were similar in terms of quality and arc. How many years did a player play? How good were his best years compared to his worst years, etc.? The metric also compares players by positions, so there is no Michael Jordan vs. LeBron similarity score.

The forwards that are comparable include: Karl Malone, Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan, Julius Erving, Kevin Garnett, Charles Barkley, Kevin Durant, and Larry Bird. All current or future Hall of Famers.

LeBron’s second-best season in win shares is better than all of the aforementioned players’ best season. His third-best season in terms of win shares is better than all the aforementioned players’ best, except KD.

LeBron’s fifth-best season in terms of win shares is better than Larry Bird’s best season.

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What he’s doing in Year 19 in terms of raw production, and the advanced metrics has never been done in the history of the NBA.

The great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in his 19th season was a very respectable .111 in WS/48. League average is .100. LeBron is at .188. Abdul-Jabbar averaged 14.6 points per game and six rebounds per game. LeBron is at 30 points, eight rebounds and six assists per game.

Kobe Bryant was .006 in WS/48 in his 19th season, averaging 22 points, five rebounds and five assists per game on horrendous efficiency. 41 eFG% and 47 TS%.

LeBron is having one of his most efficient seasons ever at 59 eFG% and 62 TS%.

It isn’t enough to say we are witnessing something we’ve never seen before. This level of elite production at this stage of his career, still has LeBron as a top 5-7 player in the league.

The longevity and the accolades he will amass are the best case he has in claiming the GOAT crown from Michael Jordan.

LeBron will never have a 6-0 NBA Finals record like MJ. But he made the Finals 13 times in his 19 seasons, winning four times. In the 15 seasons his teams have made the playoffs, he’s advanced past the first round 14 times.

He is the only player in NBA history to have amassed at least 35,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, and 10,000 assists.

At his size, strength, athleticism and IQ he has redefined what can be done on the basketball court by one player. For 19 seasons he has bent the game to his will, there is nothing on the floor he can’t do.

We’ve run out of superlatives to describe perhaps the greatest player of all-time.

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