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It Should Not Be Overlooked How Ridiculous It Is That LeBron Is About To Break The 40,000 Career Points Barrier

Ronald Martinez. Getty Images.

I'm going to do my best to put my extreme anti-Lakers and anti-LeBron bias aside for the sake of this blog, because what we're going to witness tonight when LeBron takes the floor against the Nuggets is worthy of some praise. I think most would agree that at this point, even as insufferable as he can be at times, at the end of the day you have to respect what LeBron continues to do while also showing no signs of slowing down. None of it makes any goddamn sense. 

I just want to make sure people understand how insane this 40,000 number is, as well as talk about where it's possible that LeBron ends up. I won't go so far as to say his scoring record will never be broken, because for decades we said the same thing about Kareem's record. 

As things stand today, this is the current Top 50 all time scoring rankings

Even before his game tonight, LeBron sits 1,604 points ahead of Kareem in the top spot. To help put that into perspective, in 2011-12 LeBron scored 1,683 points in 62 games, winning the MVP. So essentially, there is an entire MVP season between LeBron and the next guy on the scoring list. That feels like it's pretty good!

Sure the era in which LeBron plays helps, but it's not as if his entire career existed in this era of offensive explosion. Style of play has changed from the early 2000s, to the mid 2000s, to the 2020s. The one constant has been LeBron and his ability to score, which is how you end up knocking on the door of 40,000 goddamn points and counting. 

So how far can he take this? Well, that would depend on us correctly predicting how many seasons LeBron has left, and I've given up on that shit. For the sake of this blog, let's say he has 3-4 more years at the current production we're seeing now, which is right around 1,500 points give or take on average (he currently has 4,624 points over the last 3 seasons). With 1,339 this season, let's say of the Lakers' final 21 games, LeBron plays in at least 75% of them, which is 15 more games. At his 25 per game average, that would be another 375 points to his regular season total, which brings his end of season total to 1,714. That means, at the end of 2023-24, let's say LeBron sits at 40,336. Three more years with at least 1,500 points gives him around 44,836. Is it crazy to think that once he starts to get close, he pushes for 45,000?

Thinking about all this made me wonder if the player that one day will break LeBron's scoring record is even born yet. Of course it will take the same type of never before seen mix of longevity and production that LeBron has had, but if you believe that player one day exists, and that guy gets to spend his entire career in the offensive explosion era and beyond, it is possible. This is not a Wayne Gretzky points situation where nobody will ever touch those numbers. Someone is going to eventually beat out LeBron's total, and I'm not totally sure that player is even on the planet yet.

Maybe you think that player could one day be Luka Doncic given how unstoppable of a scorer he is combined with his usage. At his age 24 season (382 games), Luka already has 10,892 points. At the end of LeBron's age 24 season (472), he finished with 12,993. So even as dominant as Luka has been, he's still currently 2,101 points behind. This is what makes what LeBron has done so insane. It's not just the averages and the totals, it's the fact that he ALWAYS plays. In those first four years, LeBron only had 1 season under 78 games played, and it was 75. Luka in his entire career only has one season of over 72 games played. It's different now. 

To me, this is going to be the biggest obstacle for anyone who tries to top this record. In the era of load management, you simply don't see the best of the best play 75+ games every single year the way LeBron did from 2003-2018. The man played in all 82 games at the age of 33! Then, once you get into your late 30s and your game total drops to around the mid 50s, your scoring never drops below 25 a game. When you type it all out it all gets more and more ridiculous.

Listen, I may despite the Lakers and LeBron, but I am also someone who appreciates NBA history. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think Kareem's record would be broken in my lifetime let alone that person have a legit shot at getting to 45,000 points. That number seems so insane yet as long as LeBron stays relatively healthy, I'm almost ready to say it's a lock to happen. 


It's still fuck the Lakers forever though. That will never change.