Stats, fun facts to know as LeBron James chases down Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

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LeBron James is in a league of his own.

The 38-year-old is well on his way to passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer during his 20th season in the league.

He is just 177 points away. And the four-time MVP shows no signs of slowing down.

James has openly expressed his desire to share the basketball court with his eldest son Bronny James, who is excepted to be eligible for the 2024 NBA Draft. That means James could play another two years and could become the first player in NBA history to break the 40,000 point barrier.

Stranger things have happened, as evidenced by this list of weird facts we’ve compiled. Here’s some fun facts about the NBA’s all-time scorers:

Could Luka Doncic pass LeBron James on the all-time scoring list?

Luka Doncic has been called “baby LeBron” and many believe the elite scorer is a top contender to one day surpass James as the all-time scoring leader. The rising star has already amassed over 8,000 points in his first five seasons in the NBA.

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Doncic is averaging 33.6 points this season, more than James has averaged in a season in his career. Scoring his career average of 27.4 points per game, it would take Doncic about 1,086 games and 15 more seasons to pass James at his current scoring clip.

But don’t hold your breath. Doncic said “there’s no way” he will ever pass James’ scoring record because he’s “not playing that much.” He added, “That’s a long time to play basketball. I’d rather go back to my farm in Slovenia.”

LeBron James was born the same year Kareem Abdul-Jabbar set the scoring record

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been atop the all-time scoring record books since April 5, 1984, when he passed Wilt Chamberlain.

Nine months later, James was born Dec. 30, 1984, in Akron, Ohio. Abdul-Jabbar was 37.

Thirty-nine years later, James, now 38, is on track to pass Abdul-Jabbar’s record.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar only made one three-pointer in his 20-year career

Abdul-Jabbar may currently be the league’s leading scorer, but he did so without the help of the three-point line. Of all of his 38,387 points scored in his 20-year career, only three came from a three.

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The NBA didn’t implement the 3-pointer until 1979 during the 11th season of Abdul-Jabbar’s career. He sunk his first and only three-pointer nearly eight years later on Feb. 24, 1987, against the Phoenix Suns. He was 1-for-18 from beyond the arc during his career.

And Abdul-Jabbar said his one three-pointer wasn’t intentional: “It was an accident. You know, I ran out to the corner to get a rebound, and I was out there all alone. They didn’t want to come guard me. I turned around and made the 3-pointer.”

The stat single-handedly highlights the evolution of the game. In comparison, James has sunk 2,221 threes in his career so far.

LeBron James has 500+ 30-point games, compared to 13 50-point games

James has had some epic scoring performances in his career. He dropped a career-best 61-points against the Charlotte Bobcats in 2014 while playing for the Miami Heat. He’s scored 50 or more points 13 times in his career, most recently against the Golden State Warriors in 2022 while playing for the Los Angeles Lakers.

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The bulk of James’ scoring, however, comes from consistency. He has 529 career 30-point regular-season games, the second most in NBA history behind Michael Jordan (562). James seems destined to overtake that record, too. He’s averaging 30.2 points per game in his 20th season.

*as of January 25

LeBron James has played against nine father-son duos

James’ longevity also factors into his scoring credentials.

He’s been in the league so long that he’s played several generations of players — nine father-son duos to be exact.

“You feel old, don’t you?” Houston Rockets’ rookie Jabari Smith Jr. said to James earlier this month after informing James that his first game was against Smith’s father, Jabari Smith Sr.

Follow Cydney Henderson on Twitter @CydHenderson

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NBA points title: Facts, stats to know as LeBron nears Kareem’s record



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