The Number 12 is getting a lot of play this holiday season. First (and most importantly) it’s the Year 2012, which means the world is ending tomorrow (count this as your friendly reminder). Then there’s the song “12 Days of Christmas”, which is on heavy rotation. And, finally, the Oklahoma City Thunder are on a 12 game winning streak. In a related story, LeBron James is having his own sneaky version of the 12 Days of Christmas. His semi-daily gift? Full immunity from the referees. In other words, it’s been since December 8th — a 4-game span — that a referee has blown a whistle and motioned “#6” towards the scorer’s table.
LeBron hasn’t fouled anyone since December 8th against the Hornets. (via Peninsula is Mightier)
— J.E. Skeets (@jeskeets) December 19, 2012
How does this happen? LeBron played 40+ minutes in three of those four games and is an All-World defender who defends all five positions — nobody is arguing against this. Also, Miami wasn’t facing the dregs of the NBA (okay, they got a freebie with the Wizards). They played their division rival Atlanta (win) and the surprising Golden State Warriors (close loss). They rounded out the 4-game run with a thrashing of the Minnesota Timberwolves. While none of these teams strike fear in opponents (in terms of physicality), such statistical anomalies lead to one conclusion: the LeBron Rules are a thing now.
To compare, here’s a link to Michael Jordan’s 1997-98 season. Sort the list by personal fouls and start scrolling. Only binary code features more 1s and 0s. Now, let’s look at LeBron. His first season in Miami, he had six games with no whistles — 22 games into this season, he’s already matched that total. Is it possible for LeBron to average 38 minutes per game and not commit a foul in nearly one-third of them? It seems we’re in the process of finding out. But as long as we’re searching for ways to catapult LeBron into the realm of His Airness, such absurdities can only help the cause.