Will LeBron James pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?

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Over the last two weeks, Stephen Curry has brought attention to an important NBA record by chasing and then claiming control of a beloved mark. However, while the 3-point record is impressive, it is not regarded as the most valuable, prestigious, or significant record. 

Consider that the 3-point shot is only 42 years old, and it would not be as popular as it is now if it weren’t for a drastic shift in the game – most players and coaches first dismissed the 3-pointer as a novelty when it was introduced.

As a result, we arrive at LeBron James. He has a good chance of breaking Kareem Abdul-single-season Jabbar’s scoring record. That’s a lot more. LeBron also has a vast list of other career achievements, which speaks to his talent and longevity. In terms of scoring, rebounds, and assists, he should finish in the top ten. LeBron James’ career will come to an end when he retires.

It seemed implausible at the time, but then again, we should have known we were talking about LeBron James.

James is still one of the best three players in the world, if not the best, as he enters his 19th NBA season.

Despite having an overflowing trophy cabinet and a long list of honors to his name, there is one record he still wants to break. James is currently third all-time in points scored, trailing only Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, both of whom are within striking distance.

For second place, James is only 1,561 points behind Malone. LeBron hasn’t scored less than 25 points each night since his first season, with scoring averages of 25.3 and 25.0. It will take him 62.44 games to pass Malone if we cautiously anticipate his average will continue at 25.

With that in mind, James could miss up to 20 games due to injury or load management throughout the regular season and still finish second on the list at the end of the season.

LeBron presently trails Kareem in the first place by 3,020 points. To catch Kareem, James would have to play 120.8 regular-season games, according to the above calculation.

 

Even conservative projections based on LeBron’s career statistics imply that the #1 spot on the all-time scoring list will change hands in the 2022-23 season. Of course, the true stumbling block is health, as the superstar Laker’s invincibility has been exposed in recent seasons.

The toll on his body has been considerable, with recent injuries to his groin and ankle placing him on the sidelines for extended periods over the last three seasons. In each of the years 2019 and 2021, James missed a total of 27 games, the most he has ever missed in a single season.

In terms of this historic milestone, Year 20 looms as the season to watch. However, unlike Kareem, who retired after year 20, James does not appear to be slowing down at a rate that will allow him to retire at the end of the 2023 season.

Marc Stein recently spoke with Jabbar about the record and whether or not LeBron James may break it.

The current position of LeBron James on the all-time list

LeBron James is in his 19th season in the NBA, and he has long been regarded as one of the game’s all-time greats.

James’ scoring statistics are exceptional since he is the youngest and fastest player to reach 35,000 points (1,295 games) (36 years, 50 days).

In December 2021, LeBron will age 37, and he is currently ranked third all-time in scoring with 35,367 points.

Karl Malone is in the second position with 36,928 career points. Last season, LeBron James averaged 25 points per game. He will have passed Karl Malone after 63 games this season (there are 82 in total).

Will LeBron be able to get the better of Kareem?

As the all-time leading scorer, LeBron now trails Kareem Abdul-Jabbar by 3,020 points.

Only Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan have ever scored that many points in a single season, thus LeBron is unlikely to achieve so this season. With 2,478 points for the Cavaliers in 2005-06, LeBron set a new record for most points in a season.

LeBron hasn’t had a season where he didn’t score at least 25 points since his rookie season. With the Lakers, he averaged 1,443 points a season, giving him a career-scoring average of 1,964 points per season.

If LeBron continues to score 25 points per game, he will pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar by the mid-to-late 2023 season (he is under contract with the Lakers until the end of the 2023 season).

In other words, if LeBron continues at his current pace and remains healthy, he will pass Abdul-Jabbar in the next two seasons.

 

Source: This article has been translated and rewritten from the following NBA news source