LeBron James is playing his third season with the Los Angeles Lakers, trying to win his second consecutive championship with the franchise and the 5th in his successful career. James has been around for 18 years now and he doesn't seem to be stopping anytime soon. He keeps playing at the highest level and it's unclear when he will retire.
Although he's made it clear he won't be playing at 46, James has a big chance to even reach his 40s and still be a good NBA player. At that time, you could see him as the No. 1 all-time scorer in the NBA. He currently has 34,578 points scored in his career and James hasn't shown any signs of slowing down. That is why ESPN Stats & Info (H/T HoopCentral) explained how many games LeBron would need to surpass Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the All-Time scoring leader in the association.
James has four scenarios where he can reach that milestone. All of them could happen in the next two seasons, where his contract with Los Angeles expires. First, he would need 142 games scoring 27 PPG, which is his career average. He could surpass Kareem at the end of the 2021/22 NBA regular season as long as he averages 27 points.
The second scenario would see the King assaulting the first spot on the list in 154 if he averages 25.0 points per game, which is one point higher than he's averaging right now. The King could overcome KAJ in the 2022/23 season, which would be the last one of his current contract with the Lakers.
The third option for LeBron is 171 games averaging 22.5 PPG. Just like the second option, that would see him surpassing Kareem in the 2022/23 season. Just like the fourth one, where LeBron would need 192 games averaging 20 points per game to become the all-time scoring leader of the league.
James has never favored scoring for his career and yet he's the 3rd highest scorer in NBA history. He is still putting up good numbers with the Lakers and if he stays healthy and maintains a consistent level, LeBron will be leading that list in a couple of years from now.
First, he's focused on winning with the Lakers and seeing how good the team is and how well they play with Anthony Davis, LeBron will likely win his 5th ring this season. The records will come later; James is on a mission this year and that's winning a second consecutive title with his team.