Skip to main content

Can LeBron James Become NBA's All-Time Scoring Leader?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James

After he defeated Golden State Warriors, his legacy just begun. With 3 NBA Championships and 7 NBA Finals, he is only 31 years old and we could expect he will play in the next six NBA seasons.

Last season, LeBron James passed Oscar Robertson for No. 11 on the All-Time regular season scoring list.

He now has 26.833 points and he also surpassed Jerry West, Reggie Miller, Alex English, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, John Havlicek and Tim Duncan.

Last season he played only 35.6 minutes per game (lowest in career) and he scored 1.920 points or 25.3 pts per game. In the NBA Season 14/15, he also scored 25.3 pts per game.

If we looking at the list, only Dirk Nowitzki still playing.

Will LeBron pass Kareem?

Let’s assume that he averages 25 - 27 points per game for the foreseeable future. And that he misses, say, seven or eight games per season.

I expect that he can play next 5-6 seasons, like Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan. Why not?

He has 3 titles and he wants to have more than five, because his goal is to have a legacy like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Kobe Bryant had.



NBA 2016/17

In the season 16/17, I expect that LeBron James (32 years old) will play 77 games. Cleveland Cavaliers will have the best record in the Eastern Conference and only New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors will compete with them.

My projection is that he will score 26.5 points per game, so he will have total: 2.041 points.

Total points: 26.833 PTS + 2.041 PTS = 28.874 points.

He will surpass Hakeem Olajuwon (26.946), Elvin Hayes (27.313), Moses Malone (27.409) and Shaquille O'Neal (28.596).

At the end of the NBA regular season 16/17, he will be 7th on the NBA All-Time scoring list with 28.874 points.

NBA 2017/18

That season, LeBron James (33 years old) will play 75 games and he will average 25.7 points per game, so he will have 1.928 points in the season 17/18.

Total points: 28.874 + 1.928 = 30.802 points.

He will surpass Dirk, because Dirk Nowitzki will score 16 pts per game, so he will have (16 x 70 games) = 1.120 + 29.395 = 30.515 points.

At the end of the NBA regular season 17/18, he will be 6th on the NBA All-Time scoring list with 30.802 points.

NBA 2018/19

LeBron James (34 years old) will play 78 games with 25.2 points per game.

Total points: 30.802 + 1.966 = 32.768 points.

He will surpass Wilt Chamberlain (31419) and Michael Jordan (32292) and he will be 4th on the NBA All-Time scoring list.

Only Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will be ahead of LeBron James.

NBA 2019/20

In this season, 35 years old NBA veteran, LeBron James will play 72 games with 23.0 pts per game. That would be enough for 1.656 points.

Total points: 32.768 + 1.656 = 34.424 points.

He will surpass Kobe Bryant (33.643) and he will be 3rd on the NBA All-Time scoring list.

NBA 2020/21

LeBron James 36 years old league legend, will play only 66 games with 21 points per game. He will have 1.386 points in this season.

Total points: 34.424 + 1.386 = 35.810 points.

Only Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will be ahead of him.

NBA 2021/22

This would be the last season of LeBron James. He will enjoy his farewell tour.

With 67 games and 17 points per game, he will have 1.139 points in his last season in NBA.

Total points: 35.810 + 1.139 = 36.949 points.

He will surpass Utah Jazz legend Karl Malone (36928) and he will be 2nd on the NBA All-Time scoring list.

Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will be ahead of him, and only one player has more chance than LeBron James. I will write about him in the future.

I’d expect LeBron to pretty confidently finish No. 2 all-time in NBA scoring. He should be able to do that if he can stay away from the injuries.

He will not surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but 2nd place is a very good achievement for LeBron James.

He is still young (31 years old) and this achievement will be a good one for the conversation about the greatest players ever.

With the 7 NBA Finals and 3 NBA Championships, where you will rank him so far? No team has ever come back from down 3-1 to win NBA Finals except LeBron James and Cleveland Cavaliers. And that is a huge boost for his legacy.

Is he in the top 10 greatest players ever? And where you will rank him if he wins another NBA Championship and beat the Golden State Warriors with Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant?

LeBron James: Career highlights and awards

3× NBA champion (2012, 2013, 2016)

3× NBA Finals MVP (2012, 2013, 2016)

4× NBA Most Valuable Player (2009, 2010, 2012,2013)

12× NBA All-Star (2005–2016)

2× NBA All-Star Game MVP (2006, 2008)

10× All-NBA First Team (2006, 2008–2016)

2× All-NBA Second Team (2005, 2007)

5× NBA All-Defensive First Team (2009–2013)

NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2014)

NBA Rookie of the Year (2004)

NBA scoring champion (2008)

Cleveland Cavaliers all-time leading scorer

AP Athlete of the Year (2013)

Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year (2012)

USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year (2012)

2× Mr. Basketball USA (2002–2003)

Naismith Prep Player of the Year (2003)

McDonald's All-American Game MVP (2003)

3× Ohio Mr. Basketball (2001–2003)

Stats at
Stats at