LeBron James becomes Third Player in NBA History to Score 35,000 Career Points
According to The Athletic, LeBron James recently became the third player in NBA history to score 35,000 career regular-season points on Thursday night, crossing the threshold with 47.1 seconds left in the second quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 109-98 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
At 36 years and 50 days old, James is the youngest to achieve the feat, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38 years, 352 days) and Karl Malone (39 years, 131 days). James is also the fastest to hit 35,000 points, doing so in his 1,295th game. Abdul-Jabbar did so in his 1,399th and Malone in his 1,370th.
Abdul-Jabbar is the league’s all-time points leader with 38,387. Malone is second at 36,928. James became the youngest player, and the second-fastest (behind Wilt Chamberlain), to cross the 30,000-point mark in 2018.
James entered Thursday’s game 15 points shy of the milestone. The Lakers were without point guard Dennis Schroder against the Nets, after he was pulled due to health and safety protocols an hour before the game.
According to the publication, LeBron is on track to score roughly 1,850 points this season, which would leave him just over 800 points shy of Malone. Assuming good health and typical productivity, he would pass the Mailman before next year’s All-Star break, when he would be 37 years old.
That would leave him 1,459 points behind Kareem — or fewer than the number of points James scored in his injured first year in L.A. If James maintains his current production, he would pass Kareem early in the 2022-23 season. Even allowing for injury or some statistical dropoff, it’s hard to imagine him not becoming the all-time scoring leader by the end of that season — the last year on the contract extension he signed with the Lakers in November.