How soon will Lebron James overtake Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as all-time leading scorer?

Lebron James might be able to overtake Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time leading scorer.

It seemed inconceivable at the time, but we should have realized we were talking about LeBron James.

Even as he enters his ninth NBA season, Lebron James remains one of the game’s top three players and maybe the greatest overall.

Aside from the many awards and trophies that go along with his name, there is one record that he still hopes to break. As of right now, James is third all-time in points scored behind Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but he’s not far behind either.

Lebron James is just 1,561 points behind Karl Malone

James is just 1,561 points behind Karl Malone in the race for second place. Since his rookie season, LeBron has not scored less than 25 points in a game, averaging 25.3 and 25.0, respectively.

Conservative estimates suggest that if his average stays at 25, it’ll take him 62.44 games to overtake Malone.

Given this, James might miss up to 20 games due to injury or workload management throughout the regular season and still finish second after the season.

Lebron is 3,020 points behind leader Kareem

Currently, Lebron is 3,020 points behind leader Kareem. To catch Kareem, James would have to play in 120.8 regular season games more.

Even the most conservative projections based on Lebron’s career statistics point to the 2022-23 season as the year when the #1 position on the all-time scoring list will change hands.

Of course, the biggest hurdle will be staying healthy, as the great Laker has recently shown.

With 50,055 regular-season minutes and 11,035 postseason minutes already under his belt, the toll on his body has been severe, with recent ailments to his groin and ankle putting him on the sidelines for long stretches over the past three seasons.

In 2019 and 2021, James missed a career-high 27 games due to injury, the most of any player’s career.

 

Image courtesy of Nonstop Sports/YouTube

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