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How many points could LeBron James reach in his career?

LeBron James finally broke the long-standing record of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the leading all-time scorer in the NBA. How much further can he go?

LeBron James finally broke the long-standing record of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the leading all-time scorer in the NBA. How much further can he go?
Gary A. VasquezUSA TODAY Sports

LeBron James has finally done it. The Los Angeles Lakers star broke the decades-old record of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar during their 133-130 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder to become the number one all-time scorer in NBA history.

He ended the game with an accumulated 38,390 points, three points over Abdul-Jabbar’s tally, and looks set to pull away even further. He may even become the first player to ever hit the 40,000 mark, which is only 1,610 away.

At 38 years of age, James is still playing at the highest level of the game, with no indication that he slowing down. He has taken care of himself physically, which is why he is now on his 20th year in the NBA.


LeBron could reach the 40,000 mark

Despite being at the end of his second decade in the league, he is still a scoring machine. King James has been averaging 30 points per game this season, so if he keeps up this rate, he will need only 54 more games to reach the 40K milestone. Each team plays 82 games per regular season, so he could realistically reach the number mid-season next year.

However, his points-per-game career average stands at 27.2. If he continues at this rate, it would take him 60 games to reach the magic number.

How many more points could LeBron James make in his career?

Setting aside the 40,000-point threshold, which LeBron can realistically breach, there’s the question of how many more points he could score in the remainder of his career. Although he has a high points-per-game average this season, he has also been playing in less games over the last few years. In 2017-18, he played the full 82 matches for the first time in his career. However, over the succeeding four years, he averaged only 55 games per season.

The Lakers have 27 regular season games to play this year, and assuming that LeBron keeps up his season average, and plays in all remaining games, he would rack up 810 more points. That would give him a total of 39,200 as the season wraps up. This is the best-case scenario, at least for this year.

How many more seasons can LeBron James play?

We have already seen that James is still playing in peak form, but how much longer can he keep going? The record for most number of seasons played in the NBA is 22, held by Vince Carter. Let us assume that LeBron can at least match that record, and play for two years more. For the sake of being conservative, we can project that he will be playing in only 55 games in each of these last two years, and that he will be delivering 27.2 points in each of them. That comes up to a total of 2,992 points for years 21 and 22.

On top of the projected number that he would have at the end of the ongoing season, the sum comes out to a whopping 42,192 points. If all these come to pass, LeBron James’ all-time scoring record would be likely to stand unbeatable for decades.


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