LeBron James and the Cavs face off in an epic Game 7, and this time it’s the NBA Finals. This will be his 6th which means he will have tied the number Kobe Bryant has played in, and more than doubled how many Stephen Curry and Michael Jordan have each been in.
Sunday will mark Stephen Curry’s third Game 7 in recent history which actually matches how many the great Michael Jordan have played in (which until recently I thought hadn’t seen a Game 7 in his whole career).
The chart above ranks the number of Game 7s each of these great players have seen and shows their win/loss percentage. If we just go by wins, Kobe has been the King while winning 83% of the Game 7s he has played, or winning 5 out of the 6.
Early Game 7 Woes?
Jordan hasn’t had to do much in Game 7, but he only lost one Game 7 (very early on in his career, too). I’m sure he forgets that 6/2/1990 game against the Piston, but he won every Game 7 after that — against my Pacers and the Knicks.
Kobe is the only one on the list to win his first Game 7.
LeBron James has similar early career woes — losing both Game 7s he and the Cavs saw in 2006 and 2008. After he moved to Miami, he won 3 Game 7s in the same season, which coincidentally one win in an NBA Final Game 7 against the Spurs.
Following the trend, Stephen Curry lost his first Game 7 against the Clippers in 2014, but recently winning that amazing series against the Thunder in the 2016 playoffs.
How Many Points Did Each Score?
Let’s move on to scoring points. Even though he had the fewer number of Game 7s so far, the splash brother, Steph Curry, leads slightly with average number of points scored. As you can see, he mostly relied on his long range shooting which is essentially where the league is going, but averaging 5 3-pointers in those two games.
Each of the players stayed pretty close with average points per game, except for Kobe. With Shaq, he wasn’t really asked to do much — as it relates to scoring points.
As we look at points scored in a single game, LeBron James, he leads this group with his 45 point performance against the Celtics in 2008, while Jordan had the second best performance with 42 against the Knicks in 1992.
What About Other Stats?
Scoring points is one thing, but what about the other stats? LeBron James was asked to play the most in his Game 7s with the highest minutes per game at 44.8 while Stephen Curry was asked to play the least — albeit still more than 40 minutes (which is still an insane amount of time). LeBron, also led the group in average rebounds and steals, while Steph Curry led the group in the other categories.
Who’s the King of Game 7s? Well that’s really hard to tell, but depending on which stats you look at, you could say either Kobe or LeBron. Kobe has the crown purely with the number of wins, but there is no mistake that LeBron is the King leading most of the stats.
Now before I lose some readers from the Chicago area, Michael Jordan does have one stat that is an incredible feat, but definitely unrelated to playoff Game 7s.
Jordan is 6–0 in NBA Finals, compared to Kobe’s 5–2 record.
About Matt Strobel
Matt Strobel is the editor and lead writer for LebortsReport.com. He works in marketing analytics and has been writing for the last five years. Inspired by the likes of Bill Simmons and Nate Silver, he wanted to create a site to share his knowledge on just about everything. Enjoy the site!@mdstrobe