A prolific passer, LeBron James ranks third all-time in points per game behind Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain. (Mark J. Terrill/AP)

[Sports Illustrated]

The question has been thrown at me, and anyone else whose roots go back a bit, on several occasions this season: Where does LeBron James — who is only 28 and should have at least eight more years at a top level — rank among the all-time greats?

Certainly the question was being asked again on Sunday after another superlative performance (29 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, three steals, only two turnovers) in Miami’s 99-93 win over the Knicks, the 14th straight victory for the Heat.

The question is fair. That’s how good James is playing. But I would present the question with a qualifier: How good is James compared to other players like him?

I’ve attempted a semi-scientific approach — emphasis on “semi” — for I am neither statistician, mathematician, nor John Hollinger.

Here we go.