NBA News: LeBron breaks scoring record, sets sights on Jordan for GOAT

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

After nearly 40 years, the NBA finally has a new all-time scoring leader. LeBron James surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with a jumper over Kenrich Williams late in the third quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

James now holds the NBA record with 38,390 points. Additionally, given the scoring tear he’s been on this year, he’ll be able to continue adding to that total with 27 games remaining this season. Much like Abdul-Jabbar, James has managed to combine dominant scoring with near-unprecedented longevity en route to leading the NBA in all-time points.

However, where Abdul-Jabbar was clearly on his last legs in his 20th season, James is still going strong.

LeBron James has a chance to put the all-time scoring mark out of reach.

Since turning 38, James is averaging a stellar 33.9 points per game in 17 games, compared to Abdul-Jabbar’s 10.9 points in his 20th season.

What’s more impressive is that James’ career doesn’t appear to be winding down. In fact, according to a teammate, he plans on playing several more seasons. That could allow him to put some distance between himself and Abdul-Jabbar. If James plays even a couple more seasons at anywhere near the same offensive level as he has, then he could safely reach 42,000 points.

While that might be an arbitrary mark, it could help ensure that his record stands for some time, even in the NBA’s current offensive golden age. Other players that might have had a chance, such as Kevin Durant and Steph Curry, have both missed significant time in their careers and would have to score at an even higher level than James has later in their careers.

It’s not impossible, but James has set the bar very high thanks to his durability and a surprising late-career-scoring surge. James previously wasn’t considered to be a scorer in the same vein as Michael Jordan or Abdul-Jabbar. Despite that, he ironically scored enough to shatter the record in significantly fewer games.

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All in all, James surpassing Abdul-Jabbar only cements his legacy as arguably the greatest player in NBA history.

While many still consider Michael Jordan to be the Goat, Jordan never came close to breaking the all-time scoring record. That gives King James a leg up in this all-time great discussion.