When will LeBron James break Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA scoring record?


Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James is poised to overtake Hall of Fame center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.

James entered the action Wednesday with 38,210 career points, needing just 178 to surpass Abdul-Jabbar’s record of 38,387.

At his current rate this season, James will have to play six more games pass in front of Abdul-Jabbar. If he doesn’t miss a game, James should pass Abdul-Jabbar when the Lakers take on the New Orleans Pelicans on Feb. 4 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.

James is averaging 30.2 points per game this season. In his last outing, he scored 46 points in a 133-115 home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday.

Abdul-Jabbar, 75, has been the NBA’s all-time leading scorer for more than 38 years; he surpassed Wilt Chamberlain’s career point total of 31,419 on April 5, 1984. When he retired in 1989, Abdul-Jabbar’s career point total was considered one of the highest records league unbreakables.

Before James, Hall of Fame forward Karl Malone came closest to threatening the record, retiring with 36,928 points in 2004. Kobe Bryant (33,643 points) and Michael Jordan (32,292 points) took their retirement without mounting serious challenges to the throne of Abdul-Jabbar.

James is on track to break the record in fewer games and with a higher career scoring average than Abdul-Jabbar. James has played in 1,404 games over his 20-year career and is averaging 27.2 points per game. Abdul-Jabbar averaged 24.6 points in 1,560 games over 20 seasons with the Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks.

“I’m a little impressed,” James said in September. “Wow. To sit here and know that I’m about to break probably the most wanted record in the NBA, things that people said would never be done, is very humbling to me. It’s super cool.”

Although Abdul-Jabbar has criticized James in recent years for his stance on covid-19 and for dancing during games, the hoop legend said in April he was ‘all for’ James breaking his goalscoring record and that “there is no envy there”.

James enjoyed two big advantages over Abdul-Jabbar: a head start and the three-point shot. After spending four seasons at UCLA, Abdul-Jabbar made his NBA debut at age 22 in 1969. James entered the NBA straight from high school in 2003 and made his debut at age 18.

The NBA didn’t incorporate a three-point line until 1979-80 — Abdul-Jabbar’s 11th season — and the 7-foot-2 center made just one three-pointer in his career. . The 6-foot-9 James, on the other hand, has made over 2,200 three-pointers so far.

Unlike Mike: LeBron James passes Michael Jordan on NBA’s all-time goalscoring list

James, 38, has made steady progress in the all-time rankings, passing Chamberlain in November 2018, Jordan in March 2019, Bryant in January 2020 and Malone in March 2022. Given that James is under contract until 2024 – 25 season and has given no indication of his intention to retire, the four-time MVP has a chance to top 40,000 points and put significant distance between him and Abdul-Jabbar.

As LeBron James passes Kobe Bryant, a once unthinkable mark is at stake

Remarkably, the closest active player to James’ total is Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant, who ranks 14th all-time with 26,684 points. Considering Durant is 34 and has suffered a series of injuries in recent years, he is unlikely to seriously challenge James’ record.

Among the NBA’s younger generation, Luka Doncic probably has the best chance of winning the scoring crown, but the 23-year-old Dallas Mavericks guard says there’s “no way” he be the all-time leading scorer “because I don’t play a lot.

James is already the NBA’s all-time leading scorer in the playoffs with 7,631 points, ahead of Jordan (5,987), Abdul-Jabbar (5,762) and Bryant (5,640).

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