On Tuesday, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James set the record for most career points in NBA history, passing fellow Laker Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. James had scored 27 points on Saturday against New Orleans to pull within 36 points of the record; and during the Lakers’ game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday, James scored his 36th point of the night late in the third quarter, bringing his career total to 38,388 points.
Abdul-Jabbar was in attendance at the Lakers’ game to see James surpass his record. Abdul-Jabbar previously set the record April 5, 1984, passing Wilt Chamberlain; and then went on to increased the record total to 38,387 points by the time he retired in 1989. The record had stood since Abdul-Jabbar’s retirement in 1989; and since James doesn’t appear likely to retire in the next few years, he could potentially top 40,000 points before his NBA career comes to an end
Utah Jazz forward Karl Malone now holds third place, but is still nearly 1,500 points shy of Abdul-Jabbar. Kobe Bryant, with nearly 5,000 points fewer than James, stands fourth all-time, with Michael Jordan rounding out the top 5. All but Jordan played for the Los Angeles Lakers at one point in their careers.
James entered the NBA in 2003; in his rookie season, he averaged 20.9 points per game, and has since averaged at least 27 points per game 12 times, including this season. His highest single-season total was 31.4 points per game in his third season. James scored 23,119 points in 11 seasons in Cleveland, scored 7,919 points in Miami; and now has just over 7,300 points in his time with Los Angeles. James has also made the playoffs in 15 of 19 seasons, and holds the record for most points in NBA history combining the regular season and the playoffs.
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