Comparing the greats

Updated: June 9, 2004, 12:21 PM ET
ESPN.com

Magic Johnson and Larry Bird are credited with saving the NBA back in the 1980s. The two dynamic superstars developed a rivalry in college and brought their teams to the NBA Finals and created new interest in the league. Almost 25 years later, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony are taking the league to new heights once again with their youthfulness and energetic style of play. ESPN.com decided to compare the statistics from their first season in the NBA of the two sets of rookie sensations.

Larry Bird
ROOKIE 1979-80
MIN
36.0
PPG
21.3
RPG
10.4
APG
4.5
Boston Celtics

Magic Johnson
ROOKIE 1979-80
MIN
36.2
PPG
17.9
RPG
7.7
APG
7.2
Los Angeles Lakers

LeBron James
ROOKIE 2003-04
MIN
39.5
PPG
20.9
RPG
5.5
APG
5.9
Cleveland Cavaliers

Carmelo Anthony
ROOKIE 2003-04
MIN
36.5
PPG
21.0
RPG
6.1
APG
2.8
Denver Nuggets

Rookie Season Totals

Player YEAR AGE TM MIN FG% FT% 3PM REB AST STL BLK TO PTS TM REC
Bird 1979-80 21 BOS 36.0 .474 .836 74 10.4 4.5 1.7 0.6 3.2 21.3 61-21
Magic 1979-80 21 LAL36.5 .530 .810 7 7.7 7.3 2.4 0.5 3.9 17.9 60-22
LeBron 2003-04 19 CLE39.5 .417 .754 63 5.5 5.9 1.6 0.7 3.5 20.9 35-47
Anthony 2003-04 20 DEN36.5 .426 .777 69 6.0 2.8 1.2 0.5 3.0 21.0 43-39

ALSO SEE