Topping the 30,000-point mark in the NBA is something that has only been done seven times. That should tell you just enough about how much of a consistent and durable scorer you have to be to sit among the league's all-time leaders.
Thus far, just Dirk Nowitzki, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Karl Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, and Wilt Chamberlain have been able to score 30,000+ career points. Needless to say, that pretty much cemented their status as some of the greatest to ever do it.
Then again, there are levels to anything and that's not the exception to the rule. That's why today, we're going to let you know just how many games it took them to reach that amazing milestone.
Dirk Nowitzki: 1,377 Games
If someone ever told the Dallas Mavericks that Dirk Nowitzki would end up being the greatest shooting big man ever, not even their most optimistic fan or executive would've believed it. Fast forward to today, and we now think of him as the most revolutionary power forward in NBA history because of his ability to knock down shots.
Nowitzki's signature one-legged fadeaway jump shot is one of the most iconic shots in NBA history. He paved the way for the modern big man in the league thanks to his shooting skills. He was the true synonym of efficiency throughout his career.
Kobe Bryant: 1,180 Games
Kobe Bryant is one of the most gifted scorers in NBA history and it's not even close. He was a bit of a late bloomer because he started his career coming off the bench, and that obviously made it harder for him to top that 30,000-point plateau.
Still, even though injuries got the best of him towards the sunset of his career, Kobe still managed to score 33,463 points (the 4th most ever) and made a name for himself for being the most unstoppable offensive juggernaut in the league during his prime.
Karl Malone: 1,152 Games
You can say whatever you want about Karl Malone as a person but you just can't overlook what he accomplished throughout his career in the NBA. We're talking about arguably the most consistent scorer ever, a dominant force worthy of being reckogned.
Up to this day, Karl Malone is still the second-leading scorer in NBA history with 36,928 career points and he's not likely to be left out of the top 3 in a very, very long time. That speaks volumes as to how durable and consistent he was over his career.
LeBron James: 1,107 Games
I still can't fathom why people don't think of LeBron James as a pure scorer just because he's not a pure shooter. We're talking about a guy that averages 27.1 points per his career and that has never averaged fewer than 20 points per game.
LeBron James has never focused solely on scoring and that's maybe the reason why people think of him as an overall player and not just an offensive force. Nonetheless, he's a lock to retire as the NBA's all-time leading scorer 4+ years from now.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 1,101 Games
It's funny to me how Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's name isn't brought in the GOAT conversation when he has all the stats and awards to back it up. As of today, no one has scored more points in NBA history than him (38,387), and that's a lot to say.
While Kareem may have not been the most spectacular player in the history of hoops, he was a bonafide winner and the true definition of a two-way dominant player. He was efficient, durable, consistent, and a guy that would get the job done no matter what.
Michael Jordan - 960 Games
Well, what can we say about Michael Jordan that you don't know already? He's the greatest scorer of all time and would be the league's all-time leading scorer if he hadn't retired early. In fact, he holds the highest points-per-game average in NBA history at 30.1.
Michael Jordan led the league in scoring a record 10 times, all of them in consecutive seasons. More impressively, he did that as a backcourt player without taking many three-pointers per game. He's the greatest of all time and it's not even close.
Wilt Chamberlain - 946 Games
When it comes to scoring, no one has more records than Wilt Chamberlain. As a matter of fact, he's the only player in NBA history that was ever able to score 100 points, a record that's not likely to be broken any time soon given the way managers handle their players right now.
Those kinds of performances helped Wilt Chamberlain score 30,000+ career points in just 946 games. He retired with 31,419 (the seventh-most all-time) and even though he didn't win many rings throughout his career, there's no denying how dominant he was.