Larry

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LeBron James stats: Lakers star does something only Larry Bird has

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He really does it all

There’s no question that LeBron James is one of the two best players in the history of the NBA. His status as an all-time great rivaled only by Michael Jordan is obvious, but it’s possible to still find ways to be amazed by him 17 seasons into his career. 

Take, for example, this stat. 

Accomplishing something only previously done by Larry Bird is impressive enough. Doing it six times? That’s ridiculous. 

The last thing I want to do is wade into the tired LeBron vs. Jordan argument, but this stat is a perfect illustration of why I prefer LeBron’s all-around dominance to Jordan’s scoring-focused greatness. The way he’s able to impact the game in so many different ways is what makes him a joy to watch. 

The stat almost seemed too good to be true when I first read it. (I believe it’s ESPN baseball writer Sam Miller who says every fun fact tells one small lie.) I thought it had to be a case—like Derek Jeter’s cumulative playoff stats—of LeBron playing more postseason games than guys who came before him. But no, the NBA playoffs have included 16 teams since 1984 (although the first round was a best-of-five until 2003). LeBron really just is that dominant. 

So, I decided to do some research of my own and adjust the numbers to include guys who aren’t triple double machines like LeBron, searching for players who have had a single postseason with 500 total points, 100 rebounds and 100 assists. The results just make LeBron’s playoff career more impressive. 

There have been only 15 players to record such a postseason: LeBron, Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird, Stephen Curry, Dwyane Wade, Charles Barkley, Clyde Drexler, Tim Duncan, Richard Hamilton, Allen Iverson, Paul Pierce, Isiah Thomas, Russell Westbrook

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Larry Fitzgerald’s career-low output has Cardinals on alert

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SportsPulse: A quarter of the season is in the books. The Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans would probably like a redo. Mackenzie Salmon reveals our biggest risers and fallers in this week’s power rankings.

USA TODAY

He’s played in a record-high 254 career games with the Cardinals, has made 87 straight starts dating back to the 2014 season, and he’s caught at least one pass in 247 consecutive games and counting.

But never in Larry Fitzgerald’s 17 NFL seasons has he had such a miserable two-game stretch as he has now.

In back-to-back losses to the Lions and Panthers, Fitzgerald has caught a combined three catches for just 4 yards. He had one reception for no gain against Detroit and two receptions against Carolina, one for 6 yards and another for a 2-yard loss.

It’s not as if Fitzgerald has suddenly lost it overnight. He caught seven passes during Arizona’s Week 3 victory over Washington. He’s still getting almost the same amount of offensive snaps as teammate DeAndre Hopkins.

September 13, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) celebrates during the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Photo: Kyle Terada, Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

But here’s the difference: Hopkins has been targeted a team-high 46 times by quarterback Kyler Murray and although Fitzgerald has been targeted the second-most times, only 18 passes have been thrown his way through four games. That’s one more than running back Chase Edmonds and four more than No.3 receiver Christian Kirk, who sat out the Detroit game.

“He’s the heart and soul of this team,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said after Fitzgerald’s one-catch, no-gain performance against the Lions. “When he’s getting the football, good things happens. That’s completely on