Posted by Mike Lynch on January 15, 2016
LeBron James has moved his career VORP total to 104.46 and now narrowly leads Michael Jordan's 104.44 for most in NBA history. It should be noted that VORP can only be calculated since 1973-74, so Wilt Chamberlain's career is not included (nor are the first four seasons of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's career). VORP was created by Daniel Myers, in conjunction with Box Plus/Minus. Descriptions of the statistics and how they are calculated can be found here.
A comparison of some of their career regular-season advanced statistics can be seen below:
As you can see, LeBron has been a slightly more efficient shooter, a slightly better rebounder and a significantly more prolific passer. Jordan, on the other hand, took better care of the ball, had greater usage, and had an edge in steals. Still, while LeBron has a slight 7.3 to 7.0 edge in Offensive Box Plus/Minus, it's his decisive 1.9 to 1.1 edge in Defensive BPM which gives him the edge in VORP despite playing about 4,000 fewer minutes than MJ. This is largely the result of LeBron playing for superior defensive teams throughout his career. When Jordan was winning titles in Chicago, they were elite defensively, but that was not always the case earlier (or later) in his career. Another factor, according to Myers, is that "Jordan's offensive stats look to the regression more like a pure offensive player than LeBron, possibly because they are more guard like. And guards usually have a bit less value on the defensive end."