Isaac
Two years ago

Could 12 year old LeBron beat the average male?

I read an entertaining hypothetical on r/NBA about LeBron playing basketball against the average male. Let's say, the average Australian male in this case.

How young could LeBron as a child be and still beat the average male one-on-one?

My guess would be in the 12-13 year old range.

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Zodiac  
Two years ago

I think he would get killed. 12-13 is way too young to be able to cope physically with an adult at the absolute youngest I would say 15-16.

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MattyG  
Two years ago

Zodiac, in 8th grade(13 years old) Lebron was already 6'1.
Thats taller than me, he'd have better handles than me, be more athletic than me, be able to jump higher than me, have a bigger wingspan than me, have a better jumpshot than me...
How does the average man defend that, 1 on 1?

He'd win!!

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Boomers Fan  
Two years ago

He'd smash the average male adult, even at 12 y/o. He was probably dunking back then already. Don't think there's any question about that. The guy is questionably the 1st or 2nd best player to ever play the game after all.

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Duke Fan  
Two years ago

He wouldn't kill me, no 12 year old would. As soon as it became obvious he had me for skill I'd get dirty and make him cry haha

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Double Clutch  
Two years ago

Are we talking about average adult male, or average adult male who plays basketball regularly?

Lebron at 12 or 13 would slaughter the average adult male, the interesting point to me is what level of player would be too much for 12 year old Lebron. Obviously any half competent big will have him covered one on one.

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

Duke Fan he would make you cry haha.

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Zodiac  
Two years ago

Zodiac, in 8th grade(13 years old) Lebron was already 6'1.


So what? Do you know how weak 13 year olds are? I'm not saying he wouldn't top an adult in skill but an adult male would physically intimidate a kid too much.

I remember when I was 13-14 thought I was pretty good and played a one on one against a guy in his early 30's who was shorter than me but had played social league his whole life and was teaching kids at another school and he killed me.

The discrepancy in strength is so big along with the intimidation factor a 13yo LeBron would only be able to score shooting jumpshots yet the adult male would overpower him on the block and score every time with ease.

6'1" isn't anywhere near tall enough to overcome the huge disparity in strength and experience.

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MattyG  
Two years ago

Double clutch summed it up perfectly... its the defintion of 'average' that is key to this argument.

and I am only thinking of males in my cirles, at work, dads at basketball... i think maybe 1 in 10 would have a chance.

as for me, a skinny 5'10 40 year old male, who has a half decent mid range jumpshot, but not much else...
I'm done.

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Isaac  
Two years ago

I remember when I was 13-14 thought I was pretty good and played a one on one against a guy in his early 30's who was shorter than me but had played social league his whole life and was teaching kids at another school and he killed me.
Right, but the average adult male doesn't play much basketball at all let alone a lifetime of social league. By 12, LeBron would be taller and have far better speed and skills than the average male. You watch the average person called out of the crowd for half time entertainment, and many would struggle to make a layup let alone shoot/contain someone. They could bully him, but could they dribble without him stealing the ball? I'm not so sure.

Zodiac, you're crazy. By 15-16, LeBron would destroy the average male. Wasn't he dunking at 13?

This info comes from the r/NBA thread about the same hypothetical - someone a played LeBron when he was younger:
I was 18. A senior, decent athlete, a few D3 offers, a few "preferred walk on" for some D1 schools. I was 6'3-6'4 and 180-190 pounds. He was 13-14 years old, and and near the same size as I was.. but enormous feet, long arms, but lanky. Probably weighed... 170?
I'll try to keep it somewhat short... I could hold my own against him, only because he was very, very raw. I feel my game was as polished as it could be, while he was still just getting things figured out. We both ended the game with similar stat lines, but the X factor was just the raw explosiveness and athleticism... something you honestly can't account for when talking about size, weight and even age.
I'm sure alot of you have played basketball, maybe even lately.. but you know that first few possessions of the game? Sizing things up.. who can move, who can shoot, how are they guarding us.... Lebron was already on a different planet in terms of just sheer velocity. He could just get off of his feet, make a cut, or grab a rebound while I'm still flat footed. He didn't have springs in his legs.. he had trampolines. I had played against alot of tier 1 talent at that point at 5-Star and Blue Chip camps, but the odd thing is.. I knew IMMEDIATELY that this guy was something different.. and that isn't just hindsight.
Same guy:
I was at a party once in Akron where the cops showed up (in high school). I was sitting next to Lebron on the couch and he looked at me and said "don't worry man.. I'm here, it will be fine".
And it was. He was 14.

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Smith  
Two years ago

slightly off topic - There's a 13 year old playing for North Adelaide currently, 6"3 and dunking - not only dunking he has a spin move and a reverse dunk in his repetoire - watch THAT space.

Back to actual scenario - Lebron would have killed the average male in 1 on 1 at 12/13, yes.

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koberulz  
Two years ago

I'm younger, fitter, taller, and have 20 more years of experience in basketball than the 'average male'. There are 12-year-olds who can beat me whose ceiling, at best, is 'NBL role player'.

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Zodiac  
Two years ago

Right, but the average adult male doesn't play much basketball at all let alone a lifetime of social league. By 12, LeBron would be taller and have far better speed and skills than the average male. You watch the average person called out of the crowd for half time entertainment, and many would struggle to make a layup let alone shoot/contain someone. They could bully him, but could they dribble without him stealing the ball? I'm not so sure.


Okay so we're talking about someone who's basically never picked up a basketball in their life then? Okay yes he would as would many.



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AKA  
Two years ago

Does anyone else see the correlation between Duke Fans response and name? Rather fitting!! Haha!! 12 year old LBJ would have me covered in 1 on 1 easily.

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Two years ago

The average male would not be very good at basketball

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Isaac  
Two years ago

Okay so we're talking about someone who's basically never picked up a basketball in their life then?
As per the original post, we're talking about the average Australian male. Whether that person is good at basketball is something we can only guess at, but I'd surmise that no, they would probably not be particularly good.

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PeterJohn  
Two years ago

According to the recent ABS media release (about the 2016 Census), in 2016 the typical Australian male was 37 years old.

ABS data from 2013-14 survey show 63% of 35-44 year old men play some form of sport or physical recreation.

The most popular physical recreation activities for Australian males are 'Fitness / Gym' (15.9%), 'Walking for exercise' (13.6%), 'Cycling / BMXing' (8.5%) and so forth. Only 3.1% play basketball and most fo those are aged under 20.

So the 'average Australian male' would be a 37 year old who does some cycling, walking or gym workouts, doesn't play ball sports and doesn't play basketball. Most likely he'd never have played any organised basketball nor have trained for basketball.

So James at 12 should have been able to beat someone like that. And Kyle Chalmers at 12 should have beaten him in a 25 metre freestyle race, Usain Bolt should have outsprinted him over 50 metres, Jared Tallent should have beaten him in a 1km race walk, etc.

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

It is an interesting thought. Agree the physicality of playing against men is a huge change. I started playing again a year ago after a few years off and couldn't believe how much harder it was being in a bottom level mens social/rec league compared to a mid to higher level junior social/rec leagues. Even though the skills were worse in the men's, the much higher level of physicality and experience was a huge shock.

In saying that, a manchild 12-13 year old Lebron would be fine imo. We have a 13-14 year old fill in for us sometimes, he's a handy player at the guard position but nothing amazing. He struggles at times with the physicality but overall doesn't look out of place at all and holds his own. A 12-13 year old Lebron would do quite well and potentially dominate in my low level league playing against 'average' guys who have varying levels of some sort of basketball knowledge and experience. I'd say aged 10-11 is where he'd probably struggle with it.

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