Kareem Abdul-Jabbar broke the NBA’s all-time scoring record in 1984, and he went on to amass a total of 38,387 points in his stellar career, a record that stood for 38 years. The same year he topped the chart, a new star was born in Akron, Ohio, LeBron Raymone James Sr.
Moving up to 2nd on the all-time list, LeBron’s inspiring performances helped narrow the gap down to only 36 points needed to tie with the great Kareem. The game between the LA Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunders was a big one for LeBron as it decided if he could beat Kareem’s record.
Top NBA betting sites had also posted odds for those who think LeBron will break the record or not. The odds were high and the star player didn’t disappoint as he made history on the court that day.
Ironically, he started his professional career the same year that arguably the NBA’s best player of all time, Micheal Jordan, hung up his boots. While Jordan retired from playing for the Washington Wizards, LeBron launched his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio.
The writing was on the wall since LeBron joined his high school team, St. Vincent Mary. At 6ft. 2 inches, he was tall for a freshman, and it was reflected in his dominant performances. His team went undefeated in 27 Division III games, winning the title. In his sophomore year, the high school basketball team had to play in the University of Akron’s arena because of the high ticket demand. College students, alums, and even NBA scouts wanted to watch the protege play. He lived up to expectations as they went on a 26-game win losing only once in the entire season and winning the title.
By his third year in high school basketball, he was subject to magazine features and considered the best high school basketball player in America. His team played against a few nationally ranked teams, and broadcasters televised the games live on a pay-per-view basis.
He was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2003 NBA draft and finished the season with the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. He set his first record on his first game, scoring 25 points which is the most scored by a prep-to-pro player.
The 2005 season’s performance earned him a place in the NBA All-Star game. Later in the year, he scored 56 points against the Toronto Raptors, the new Cleveland Cavaliers single-game points record. In 2006, he was named the NBA All-Star Game MVP after scoring 29 points to lead the Eastern Conference to victory. The season finished with LeBron leading the Cavaliers to their second successive playoffs.
In the 2007/08 season, he became the Cavalier’s all-time leading scorer, surpassing Brad Daugherty. He accomplished this milestone in 100 fewer games than Brad managed over his career. He averaged 30 points per game until this point, making him the highest scorer in the league that season.
In 2010, he switched to the Miami Heat and in the 2011-12 season, he led them to their second-ever championship. It was his first championship, and his performances received plaudits from critics and fans alike for his career-defining performances.
Later in the 2012-13 season, he averaged 29.7 points per game and inspired the Miami Heat to a 27-game winning streak which is the third longest ever in the history of the NBA. The team also lifted the championship in the postseason, where LeBron was named MVP for a second consecutive season.
In the 2013-14 season, his last with the Miami Heat, he set a new franchise record of 61 points. It was also a personal best as it became his career high. The team was knocked out of the playoffs, and at the end of the season, he became a free agent and opted to return to the Cavaliers.
His scoring prowess did not regress, and in the 2017-18 season, he set another record as he recorded double digits scores in 867 straight games. Also, his average was 27.5 points per game to lead the Cavaliers to a second successive championship final against the Golden State Warriors. He scored 51 points in game 1 of the finals, his play-off career best.
LeBron continued his scoring exploits when he switched to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2019, leading them to a championship final, where they beat Miami Heat. He averaged 29.8 points and also won his fourth finals MVP award.
The year 2023 is LeBron’s 20th season in the NBA, and as much as his style mirrors that of legend Magic Johnson whose game is a playmaker rather than a scorer, he still manages to shoot efficiently. In fact, his passing is so top-notch that he sits fourth on the all-time assists list.
He has had an impressive career and doesn’t seem to slow down, even at 38 years of age. The focus has shifted to whom among the current superstars might contend for the King’s new crown. Could it be Kevin Durant, at no. 14 on the all-time scorers’ list, who, at 34 years of age, has to contend with a string of injuries? Maybe it will be James Harden and Russell Westbrook who sit at 27th and 28th on the list.