LeBron James’s career will be 36,387 if he scores six points during the Los Angeles Lakers match in Brooklyn on Tuesday.
This makes Kareem Abdul Jabbar just 2,000 points shy.
The countdown will start. Whether James will pass Abdul Jabbar as the NBA’s greatest scoring leader in history is no longer an issue, but when will it be? At his current pace, James could be in first place, perhaps a little earlier, by this time of next season.
“As I continue to move up the ranks, it’s natural and human to see it, see where you are, see if it’s possible, and see if you’re capable. “James said.
That’s more than possible.
He is more than capable.
James intends to see what it’s like to catch Abdul Jabbar in the next few games. When talking about official records such as the best scoring leaders of all time, the NBA sticks only to regular season matches and doesn’t add playoff totals to the mix. Adding the Abdul-Jabbar playoff game to his total, he scored 44,149 points.
James is now 44,012 years old. James needs at most 4, 5, 6 and 7 games to score more points than anyone else in NBA history. It will not be an official record. But on at least one list, James will soon be number one in the score.
“He already has a well-documented skill set … a pass-first guy who can lead the league in scoring,” said former James coach Erik Spoelstra on four NBAs. He talked about the final trip and the championship in the two heats.
Oh, passing by. Don’t overlook it.
James, now 83, is helping 10,000 shy people in his career. He’s becoming the first triple-five-fold player in NBA history, the first to score at least 10,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, and 10,000 assists. He hit a rebound milestone last week. He will probably hit an assist milestone between now and the All-Star Break. If he declined more of those aid opportunities, he might have had a scoring record long ago.
“I’ve never followed a record in my life,” James said. “I never said,’OK, let me see if I can get this record. Let me see if I can get that record.'”
It may not have been the intention, but technically, he has been chasing them since day one.
After the rookie season, he was ranked 1,157 on the NBA’s highest-ever scoring list. He moved to the Top500 after three seasons. By his fifth year he was in the top 250. He was in the Top 100 by the eighth season and then in the Top 50 in a year. By his 14th year, he was in the top 10. And it’s been exactly two years since the match in Brooklyn on Tuesday overtook Kobe Bryant to take third place in history.
“We continue to move the game forward with King James. I have a lot of respect for my brother.” Brian tweeted the last tweet sent from his account that night.
Brian died in a helicopter crash the next day, and eight others, including his daughter Janna, died with him. Brian played in 1,346 regular season games. James will play his 1,346th time on Tuesday.
“Hall of Fame players,” Spoelstra said of James. “Hall of Fame.”
Spoelstra has long said he wasn’t the only one to believe in this, but James is unique and the numbers support it. There are 48 players who have scored 20,000 points. 43 people who got 10,000 rebounds. 38 people who gave out 6,000 assists. 40 people who made 2,000 3 pointers. Some players are included in two or three of these lists.
James is the only one of all four.
“I think it’s amazing for a pass-first guy,” Spoelstra said.
And the rise in this chart doesn’t mean that James, now 37 years old and 19th season, has jumped into the finish line of his career. He has MVP-type numbers, and he may be trying to float the Lakers alone while the Lakers scatter around the .500 mark and wait for Anthony Davis to return to the lineup. Davis is likely to return on Tuesday after missing 19 of the Lakers’ last 21 games.
James has averaged 29.0 points this season, the fastest pace since the 2009-10 season. The record since the 19th season is a 22.3 point clip by Bryant in 2014-15. James is trying to break it. The record for over 37 years old during the season is 23.4 points by Abdul Jabbar in 1985-86. James is also trying to break it.
James is currently scoring at least 25 points in 17 consecutive games. The only other player to do that after the 15th year is Bryant, who ran 17 games in the 2012-13 season. James tries to break the tie on Tuesday.
“I don’t have to score 30 points overnight, but I’m in one of the most aggressive zones of my career,” James said. “And I’m not going to quit. That’s my feeling. It feels great.”
Tim Reynolds is an Associated Press national basketball writer. Write to him at treynolds (at) ap.org