When can LeBron James pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as NBA's top scorer of all time?

Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns - Game Five
Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns - Game Five

LeBron James, often regarded as the greatest NBA player of all time, made history last season by becoming the first ever player to average at least 25 points per game through 17 straight seasons.

Since hitting that mark for the first time in his sophomore year as a 20-year old, James never looked back and has over the years staked his claim in an elite club of sporting athletes known to have brought the game to a higher level. At the age of 36, LeBron James is still going strong and has every intention of adding to his four championship rings.

In this article, we look at whether LeBron James is capable of surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time top scorer.

📅 On this day in 1981, the @Lakers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored 14 points in a win over the Jazz, passing Oscar Robertson to become the second-leading scorer in NBA history.Less than two and a half years later, Abdul-Jabbar would pass Wilt Chamberlain to take over the top spot.

When can we expect LeBron James to become the NBA’s all-time top-scorer?

LeBron currently stands third in the overall list of NBA’s top-scorers. After scoring a total of 1126 points last time around, James took his overall tally to whopping 35,367 points overall. Currently only Karl Malone and another LA Lakers legend, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, have scored more points than LeBron James.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar leads the pack with a total of 38,387 points in the NBA, a record that was considered untouchable for the longest of time. Malone on the other hand, might have never won the NBA championship but is considered to be the Utah Jazz’s best player. He finished his career with a total of 36,928 points in the NBA.

"When it's all said and done, LeBron James is going to be the all-time leading scorer in NBA history. He's going to be top five in assists in NBA history, and he might be top 10 in rebounding in NBA history. What are we talking about Kevin Durant for?" — @ShannonSharpe

Regardless, LeBron James is within splitting distance of breaching the top two. His overall points return was the lowest of his career - thus far. However, James is perhaps the fittest and the most athletic modern NBA player and is expected to register at least three more seasons with a characteristically high return.

Considering LeBron is only around 3000 points away from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, this should prove enough time for the Lakers’ star to finish his career as NBA’s top-scorer. LeBron is expected to surpass Karl Malone as early as the 2022-23 NBA season. While much depends upon the number of games he ends up playing over the next two seasons, James’ fitness levels suggest that the record should be his by the 2023-24 NBA season.

LeBron James at the 2021 NBA All-Star Game
LeBron James at the 2021 NBA All-Star Game

Of course, that is the season Bronny James will be graduating high school and is expected to join his father in the NBA. Hence, the 2023-24 NBA season might just be a memorable one for LeBron James. He is on track to become the highest scorer in the NBA that season, apart from potentially playing alongside his son.

Also Check Out: Latest NBA News, Rumors and Updates

Edited by Arnav Kholkar
Fetching more content...
App download animated image Get the free App now