When Kareem Abdul-Jabbar retired in 1989, he left the NBA with a record that many felt would never be broken. The Hall of Famer ended his playing career with 38,387 points, putting him alone atop the league’s all-time scoring list.
More than three decades later, another Lakers star is nearing Abdul-Jabbar’s incredible mark. LeBron James is on pace to pass Abdul-Jabbar and widen the gap between the two basketball legends before the end of the 2022-23 season.
How many more points does James need? And when is he projected to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer? Let’s run through the latest numbers.
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When will LeBron James pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on all-time scoring list?
- Abdul-Jabbar career points: 38,387
- James career points: 38,230
- Points needed to pass Abdul-Jabbar: 158
- Current scoring average: 29.9 points per game
- Games needed to pass Abdul-Jabbar: 6
At his current scoring average, James would pass Abdul-Jabbar on Tuesday, Feb. 7, when the Lakers face the Thunder in Los Angeles. At his career scoring average of 27.2 points per game, James would pass Abdul-Jabbar on that same date.
However, it’s worth noting that James has been listed on the Lakers’ injury report throughout the season with ankle soreness, and Los Angeles has an upcoming back-to-back set. James could potentially miss games and alter that projection.
Lakers upcoming schedule
The Lakers have 10 more games on their schedule before NBA All-Star Weekend. They will be begin a five-game road trip on Saturday, Jan. 28.
|Jan. 28||at Celtics||8:30 p.m.|
|Jan. 30||at Nets||7:30 p.m.|
|Jan. 31||at Knicks||7:30 p.m.|
|Feb. 2||at Pacers||7 p.m.|
|Feb. 4||at Pelicans||8 p.m.|
|Feb. 7||vs. Thunder||10:30 p.m.|
|Feb. 9||vs. Bucks||10 p.m.|
|Feb. 11||at Warriors||8:30 p.m.|
|Feb. 13||at Trail Blazers||10 p.m.|
|Feb. 15||vs. Pelicans||10 p.m.|
NBA all-time scoring list
James passed Karl Malone to move into second place on the all-time scoring list in March 2022. The only other active player in the top 10 is Carmelo Anthony, who is currently a free agent.
Kevin Durant is sitting at No. 14, but he could pass multiple players ahead of him by the end of the regular season if he stays healthy.
LeBron James career scoring average
After averaging 20.9 points per game as a rookie with the Cavaliers in 2003-04, James has posted at least 25 points per game in every other season of his career.
He won the scoring title in 2007-08 when he averaged 30 points per game. He has cleared the 30-point threshold in two other seasons (2005-06 and 2021-22).
|Season||Points per game||Total points|