Scoring is a huge part of basketball and especially nowadays. While some argue defense is what wins Championships, almost every great team in history has needed a great scorer in order to thrive when it matters the most.
Either if it is to give him the ball during crunch time, or just to make his presence open up a lot of space for the other players on the team, you need to have a scoring threat in your starting five if you want to have a shot at the ring.
Throughout the course of history, there have been a handful of players that have completely dominated the league in scoring over their entire career. Today, we’re going to let you know about them:
9. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Harden, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Paul Azrin, Adrian Dantley, Shaquille O’Neal, Bob Pettit, Russell Westbrook – 2 Scoring Titles
10 players have been able to win, 2 scoring titles over the course of his career, with two (James Harden and Russell Westbrook) of them still having the chance to add more accolades to their resume.
If leading the league in points throughout an entire season is difficult, imagine doing it at least twice on their career. Moreover, it’s kind of odd to think that Shaq, T-Mac, and Kobe only did it twice, but hey, they coexisted for most of their career.
8. George Mikan – 3 Scoring Titles
Way back in the day, George Mikan was the reason why the Los Angeles (Minneapolis) Lakers were so scary, as he was completely unstoppable down low during the early days of this beautiful sport.
Throughout the first three seasons of his career (from 1948-51), he led the league in scoring, with averages of 28.3 ppg, 27.4 ppg, and 28.4 ppg, respectively, even though he wasn’t the most efficient of scorers for a big man.
7. Bob McAdoo – 3 Scoring Titles
Fast forward almost 30 years to the time where Bob McAdoo was the strongest force down low in the league. Once again, it was a big man the most unstoppable scorer in the world, which kind of seems odd right now.
McAdoo dominated the league in scoring for three straight seasons (1974-76) while averaging over 30 points per game in all of them. He went on to play until he was 34, but his scoring numbers fell each year since the 1975-76 campaign.
6. Neil Johnston – 3 Scoring Titles
Most young NBA fans may not know about Neil Johnston, but truth to be told, he was a huge scoring threat way back in the day, even though his career was cut short due to a knee injury seven seasons into the league.
Still, when he was able to play, the Golden State (Philadelphia) Warriors featured one of the most skilled big men of the early days, and he led the league in scoring from 1953-55 with averages of over 22 points per game.
5. Allen Iverson – 4 Scoring Titles
To my eyes, Allen Iverson is the most talented NBA player never to win a Championship, but you couldn’t put the blame on him, as he did everything that was in his power to lead his teams to success, especially in the playoffs.
Iverson was a certified bucket-getter, a guy that could put even Michael Jordan on skates when he got his rhythm. He led the league in scoring 4 times (1999, 2001, 2002, 2005) and was close to winning his 5th scoring title in 2006, but Kobe’s historic run got the best of him.
4. George Gervin – 4 Scoring Titles
Even if some Spurs fans don’t reckon it, George Gervin was one of the first great players of their franchise, and a huge scoring threat in the wing regardless of if he was playing as a small forward or shooting guard.
Erving led the league in scoring three years in a row (1978-80) and then again two years later. Throughout his career, he only had three seasons averaging less than 20 ppg, and two of them were his rookie season and his last year in the league.
3. Kevin Durant – 4 Scoring Titles
Kevin Durant is a lock to make it to the Hall of Fame. He’s a shooting guard trapped on a big man’s body and a versatile scorer that can prolifically and consistently shoot lights out from everywhere in the floor.
Durant has already won 4 Scoring Titles and we can’t help but think that he could’ve had a couple more if he hadn’t joined the Warriors. He dominated this award from 2010-12 and won it again in 2014 with a career-high average of 32.0 ppg.
2. Wilt Chamberlain – 7 Scoring Titles
Wilt Chamberlain may have not won a bunch load of titles as expected, but, on a personal basis, he was the ultimate record man, and they even had to change the rules to make it more difficult for him to dominate the way he did.
Needless to say, it didn’t actually work, as he still found the way to lead the league in scoring 7 straight times starting his rookie year (1959-66) including a 50.4 ppg season, while also leading the league in boards 11 times.
1. Michael Jordan – 10 Scoring Titles
And, obviously, the greatest player in the history of the game is also the winningest when we talk about Scoring Titles, as he’s the only player to lead the league in scoring 10 times throughout his career.
To put this in context, Jordan played for 15 seasons, two of which he was coming off a second retirement as a 38-year-old. He won 7 straight scoring titles from 1986-93, and then three more from 1996-98. The best ever. Period.