LeBron James and Kevin Durant have had markedly different careers in the postseason, but if we compare their regular-season careers by age, we see that Durant’s first ten seasons in the NBA have been almost identical to LeBron’s first ten, right down to the peaks and valleys.
Using each player’s total points, rebounds, and assists per 36 minutes, as well as Player Efficiency Rating, which measures a player’s all-around contributions, the two stars have produced nearly identical career arcs, with both peaking and declining at the same ages. LeBron posted only slightly better numbers prior to their age-25 seasons, Durant matched the production at ages 25 and 26, and actually surpassed LeBron in their age-27 and age-28 seasons in the counting stats.
The difference, of course, is that Durant did not come out of high school with the same hoopla that surrounded James and Durant doesn’t have seven trips to the finals or three championship rings. But Durant could start to change that in the Finals this year.
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