LeBron James, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar, is on the verge of making history by surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time scoring leader. James needs only 36 points to break Abdul-Jabbar’s record of 38,387 points, which has stood for nearly 39 years. James could achieve this feat as soon as Tuesday night when the Lakers host the Oklahoma City Thunder at Crypto.com Arena.
LeBron James’ Record-Breaking Accomplishments
James, in his 20th NBA season, is one of the league’s most dominating and versatile players. He has four NBA titles, four NBA Finals MVPs, four regular season MVPs, and 17 All-Stars. Only one NBA player has ever been in the top 10 in points and assists.
His hometown Cleveland Cavaliers drafted James first overall out of high school in 2003. He helped the Cavaliers win their only NBA title in 2016 by overcoming a 3-1 deficit against the Warriors. He also won two Miami Heat championships in 2012 and 2013. He joined the Lakers in 2018 and helped them equal the Celtics with 17 NBA championships in 2020.
James has averaged 27 points per game during his career. He has 2,000 points in 12 seasons, tying Karl Malone for NBA records. His 1,000 games with 25 points are the most by any player. He averages 25.7 points per game this season despite missing several games due to injury and health regulations.
The Comparison to Michael Jordan as the GOAT
James’ upcoming status as the NBA’s all-time scoring leader will fuel additional arguments over his legacy and position among the greatest players. He has been likened to Michael Jordan, the best player ever, by fans and commentators. Jordan earned six NBA championships, six NBA Finals MVPs, five regular season MVPs, and 14 All-Stars. He also has the greatest lifetime scoring average of 30.1 points per game.
However, James has overtaken Jordan in points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, triple-doubles, and playoff appearances. Jordan retired twice, but James has played more seasons and games. James has faced harder competition and greater league parity than Jordan.
Comparisons between James and Jordan are subjective and rely on personal tastes. Some prefer championships and individual honors above longevity and flexibility. Some consider leadership, clutch performance, and cultural effect. No matter your viewpoint, James and Jordan are two of the finest players ever.
Who Could Pass LeBron James as NBA Scoring Leader?
While James is on pace to break Abdul-Jabbar’s scoring record soon, he may not hold it for long. There are several active players who are also prolific scorers and could challenge James for the top spot in the future. Here are some of them:
- Kevin Durant: The Brooklyn Nets forward is currently third on the all-time scoring list with 33,920 points. He is only 4,467 points behind James and could catch up to him if he stays healthy and productive for a few more seasons. Durant is a two-time NBA champion, a two-time NBA Finals MVP, a regular season MVP, and an 11-time All-Star. He is also one of the most efficient scorers in NBA history, shooting over 50% from the field, 40% from three-point range, and 90% from the free-throw line for his career.
- James Harden: The Brooklyn Nets guard is currently seventh on the all-time scoring list with 23,669 points. He is still far behind James but could make up some ground if he continues to score at a high rate for many more years. Harden is a former regular season MVP, a nine-time All-Star, and a three-time scoring champion. He is also one of the most prolific three-point shooters and free-throw shooters in NBA history.
- Steph Curry: The Golden State Warriors guard is currently ninth on the all-time scoring list with 22,745 points. He is also behind James by a large margin but could close the gap if he maintains his stellar form for a long time. Curry is a three-time NBA champion, a two-time regular season MVP, a seven-time All-Star, and a two-time scoring champion. He is also the greatest three-point shooter of all time, holding the record for the most three-pointers made in a season and in a career.
- Luka Doncic: The Dallas Mavericks guard is not yet on the all-time scoring list, as he is only in his fourth season in the NBA. However, he has shown tremendous potential and talent as a scorer and could climb up the ranks in the future. Doncic is a two-time All-Star and a former Rookie of the Year. He is also one of the youngest players to average over 25 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists per game for his career.
The Future of LeBron James and the NBA’s Scoring Record
James continues his incredible career and quest for new records and accomplishments. He wants to play as long as he can and enjoys the game. He also wants to play alongside his son Bronny James, a high school basketball phenom who might make the NBA in a few years.
James is sure to score more points and pull ahead of Abdul-Jabbar and others. However, younger and more ambitious players who want to make an impact on the league and history may push him. The NBA scoring record might change again.
James is one of the best scorers and players ever, regardless of the record. He has inspired millions of followers worldwide with his abilities, love, and commitment to the game. Beyond basketball, he’s a worldwide hero and social crusader. His legacy lives on in sports and society.