The basketball gods have been extremely kind to us lately, and we’ve been able to witness greatness take place frequently. It seems that this trend is likely to continue, as we are on the verge of watching one of the greatest players achieve one of the greatest accomplishments ever. LeBron James will look to stun fans again by becoming the all-time leader in points scored.
Legendary center and martial artist Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is currently the all-time points leader, but The Kid From Akron is right behind him and will most likely get it done this season.
James, who is only 1,325 points away from catching Kareem, only needs to average 16.2 points per game next season to break the record.
37,062 points down, 1,325 to go.
Safe to say LeBron James is making history next season 😤 pic.twitter.com/7VxvWo9Pri
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) July 24, 2022
While looking at the numbers, this seems like a cakewalk for The King, but there are a few problems that stand in the way of James’ ultimate accomplishment. For starters, averaging 16.2 points per game is easy for the likes of James, but that only represents the number of points he needs to average if he plays every game next season.
King James is a very durable player; in his entire career he’s only missed more than 10 games in a season once. But the 37-year-old doesn’t look like he’ll be playing all 82 games.
So, he’ll have to do a lot of stat-padding based on all of the time he’s become accustomed to taking off during the season to prolong his career.
Even though James will be liable to go off for multiple 30- and 40-point games this season, we don’t know if he will be the main option on his team. With Anthony Davis getting back into his bag in the offseason, there’s no telling what James’ production rate will look like next year. One could safely assume he will average more than 24 points per game after coming off of a season that saw him average 30 points per game.
Though it is looking very likely that James will be able to pass the scoring mark this season, even if he doesn’t, he will be a lock to do it during the 2023-2024 season, barring injury or setback. He won’t be retiring anytime soon, and, if anything, he will be awaiting his son’s entrance into the league to play a season with him. Bronny is set to be draft-eligible in 2024, so the 2023-2024 season would likely be James’ last season if he decides to hang his jersey up afterward.
Either way you put it, LeBron James is almost certainly passing Kareem for the top spot on the all-time scoring list. But the biggest question is where does this put him in the GOAT conversation?
Becoming the all-time leader in points might solidify that title, considering he’s also top 10 all-time in assists as well. Besides his dismal Finals record (4-6), The King has no blemishes. He’s clearly shown that he could adapt to any era of basketball and dominate in said era. There’s nothing he hasn’t done yet, and he’s about to do something no one else will do for a very long time. By becoming the all-time points leader, LeBron in many people’s eyes would end the GOAT debate, which in reality, just opens up the floor to more debate.
When one examines James’ entire résumé, it is a tight contest, and many are already considering James the greatest player of all time. Many say he is a product of media hype and short, historical ignorance and short memories. Some have even suggested the Lakers are better off without him.
The talking heads will eat for weeks on that one.