This upcoming season, LeBron James is entering his 20th NBA season. If his longevity in the league isn’t unprecedented enough, the four-time NBA MVP will have the opportunity to set an NBA records this season that has not been touched in a very, long time. And when we say a long time, we’re not exaggerating. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has held the title of NBA scoring champion since April 5, 1984. For context, LeBron James was born on December 30, 1984, which means that Abdul-Jabbar set this record eight months before James was even born. Now, nearly 40 years later, King James is on pace to set an NBA record this season and take the scoring crown from Abdul-Jabbar. How soon will it be the “LeBron James scoring record”?
This upcoming season, LeBron James is entering his 20th NBA season. If his longevity in the league isn’t unprecedented enough, the four-time NBA MVP will have the opportunity to set an NBA records this season that has not been touched in a very, long time.
What makes this eventual LeBron James scoring record even more impressive, is that prior to Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain held the all-time scoring record since the 1965-66 season. Now, since then, there have been four other players, not including Abdul-Jabbar and James, to have passed Chamberlain, but none have made it as far as to capture the title.
Karl Malone finished his career with 36,928 points, followed by Kobe Bryant with 33,643 points, Michael Jordan with 32,292 points, and Dirk Nowitzki with 31,560 points. So, not only will James cement his name among two of the game’s greatest players, but he’ll become just the third player to own that title since the mid- ’60s.
NBA TOP-10 ALL-TIME POINTS LEADERS
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 38,387
- LeBron James: 37,062
- Karl Malone: 36,928
- Kobe Bryant: 33,643
- Michael Jordan: 32,292
- Dirk Nowitzki: 31,560
- Wilt Chamberlain: 31,419
- Shaquille O’Neal: 28,596
- Carmelo Anthony: 28,289
- Moses Malone: 27,409
Abdul-Jabbar’s career came to an end in 1989 after 20 seasons in which he amassed 38,387 regular season points while averaging just under 2,000 points per season. James enters the 2022-23 season with 37,062 points, sitting just 1,325 points back of the record. Based on LeBron James’ scoring in the regular season, he has a career scoring average of 27.1 points per game, meaning it should take him nearly 49 games before he breaks the record. If that’s the case, a new record would be set on Jan. 25, 2023, when the Lakers play the San Antonio Spurs at home.
That being said, James isn’t a young spring chicken anymore. He’s dealt with multiple injuries over the last few seasons that have caused him to miss significant time, not to mention the games he misses each year due to load management.
According to ESPN, in the 2021-22 season, James didn’t play his 49th game until the team’s 67th game of the season. If that’s a similar case this season, while the Lakers as a team will be well past 49 games on the season, the 49th game James will personally play will not come until March 10, 2023, when Los Angeles welcomes the Toronto Raptors to Crypto.com Arena. All projected dates aside, as long as James stays healthy enough to complete the season, The King will more than likely take the crown as the NBA’s all-time points leader before the completion of his 20th NBA season.
This isn’t uncharted territory for the four-time NBA champion as he already holds a few different scoring records. He’s the NBA’s all-time leader when combining regular-season points and postseason points. For all things NBA and the latest on LeBron James scoring, keep it tuned right here, and stick around for any 2022 NBA records.
NBA TOP-5 Career Points: Regular Season and Postseason Combined
- LeBron James: 44,693
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 44,149
- Karl Malone: 41,689
- Kobe Bryant: 39,283
- Michael Jordan: 38,279
He also leads the league in points scored in both the playoffs and All-Star Games in which he has appeared in 18 of his 19 seasons thus far.
NBA TOP-5 Career Points: All-Star Games
- LeBron James: 413
- Kobe Bryant: 290
- Michael Jordan: 262
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 251
- Kevin Durant: 250
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