After another loss in the middle of a losing season, LeBron James was asked a question at the FTX Arena in Miami, which suggested that he avoid a losing moment to expand and clarify his opinion.

What did James think about coming within striking distance of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s famous NBA record of 38,387 points?

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“As I continue to climb the corporate ladder, it’s natural, humanly, to look at it and see where you are and see if it’s even possible,” the Los Angeles Lakers star said in January. “Let’s see what happens. I have never chased a record in my life. I never sat down and said, “OK, let me see if I can get this record, let me see if I can get this record.” .’ …

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“It’s one of those things that you never think could happen.”

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Abdul-Jabbar has been the league’s leading scorer since April 5, 1984, almost nine months before James, who turns 38 in December, was born.

In other words, although James says he never thought he would score more points than the Captain, he may have been born to do so.

While James’ path to the scoring crown will garner the most attention in his 20th season, there will be plenty of other ways for him to lift his place in the NBA record book.

Here’s a look at all the statistical superiority James is approaching in 2022-2023:


James enters the season with 37,062 career points and needs 1,326 to surpass Abdul-Jabbar.

If he averages 27.1 points per game (career average) and doesn’t miss a game, James will set a record in the Lakers’ 49th game on January 25 at home against the San Antonio Spurs.

Adding in rest time or an inevitable injury or two, given how James has gone over the last few seasons, plus the expected dip in his scoring average with Anthony Davis coming back healthy, James is more likely to catch up with Abdul-Jabbar later in the year. this season. campaign.

If he’s averaging 24 points per game and missing 15% to 20% on a season, James will be approaching a plateau somewhere between the 65th and 68th games.

This coincides with the home ground in early March, when the Lakers host the Golden State Warriors (March 5), Memphis Grizzlies (March 7), Toronto Raptors (March 10), and New York Knicks (March 12). Martha).

The question is, can James reach the top in victory? James has eclipsed the last four shooting legends of all time — Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Karl Malone — during losses to the Lakers, hindering individual achievement.

James can also lead Wilt Chamberlain in most 30-point games in league history, finishing first seven times, bringing his career points total to 515. Jordan has the most with 562 points.

Will become longevity

The career achievements of James, who was voted number one right out of school in 2003, have often been accompanied by the youngest to do this. As his time in the league approaches two decades, the tide has changed. He often oldest to achieve these feats.

“I’m literally trying to prepare my mind, my body and my soul for how I can stay young in the young man game,” James said last season. “People who always try to stalk you or people of that nature say you’re too old to be in this [level] Still. So it’s just a daily reminder and sometimes you really need to remind people that you can still do what you do at a high level.”

James can continue climbing the ladder in two accumulative categories this season. He enters the campaign third all-time in minutes played with 52,139 minutes and needs another 2,714 minutes to pass Malone for second. To do this, he needs to be in the composition of about 75 games. Abdul-Jabbar tops the list with 57,446 minutes.

Speaking of games played, he ranks 14th on the all-time list with 1,366 games. If he plays in 59 tournaments this season, he will move up to eighth place ahead of Clifford Robinson, Reggie Miller, Jason Kidd, Tim Duncan, Jason Terry and Kevin Willis.

Another Lakers legend in sight

James’ game is often compared to Magic Johnson’s due to his powerful combination of size and court vision. And all of James’s accurate passes over the years have allowed him to overtake Johnson on the list of the best assists.

James is in seventh place with 10,045 assists, just 97 assists behind Johnson in sixth.

Already the only player in league history to rank in the top 10 in total points and assists, James will be the only player to finish in the top 5 in those categories with 291 assists, ahead of Mark Jackson in fifth and Steve Nash in fourth.

3s and free

James averaged 30.3 points last season, the second most of his career, thanks in large part to his contributions to the streak and behind the arc.

His 75.6% from the free throw line was his best since 2011/12, and his 161 three-point shots were his most in a season.

He’s fourth on the all-time freebie list with 7836 and needs another 543 to pass Bryant in third, which will likely take a couple more seasons considering he had 254 shots in 2021/22.

James could pass Paul Pierce to 10th on the all-time 3-man list immediately after the premiere on October 18th as he is only four spots behind his longtime on-court rival.

If he hits 151 threes in a season, James will also pass Jamal Crawford, Jason Terry and Vince Carter on the all-time list.

Boards and triple-double

James quietly had one of the best rebounding seasons of his career in 2021/22, with his 8.2 boards representing the fourth highest single-season average.

With 10,210 career rebounds, he is 38th on the all-time list. If he adds 500 boards this season, he will move up to 32nd ahead of Otis Thorpe, Bill Laimbeer, Dave Cowens, former teammates Tyson Chandler and Ben Wallace, and David Robinson.

James is the only player in league history to have 30,000 career points, 10,000 rebounds and 10,000 assists, so it’s no surprise that he’s also among the elite when it comes to all-time triple-doubles.

He is No. 5 with 105 and needs three to pass Kidd for fourth. James recorded six triple-doubles last season, bringing his total since his 35th birthday to 17, more than double that of any other player in NBA history in this age group.

Defensive exploits

If the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame required entrants to pick one signature career-defining game, James would send a clip of the 2016 NBA Finals to Springfield, Massachusetts, in which he blocks the chase for Andre Iguodala in Game 7.

James enters the season at number 93 on the all-time blocked shots list; if he equals his 59th last year, he will move up 13 spots to tie Bob Lanier and Buck Williams in 80th with 1,100 career hits.

James also knows how to pass on the defensive end of the floor, ranking 10th on the all-time steal list. He will jump two-time Defensive Player of the Year Hakim Olajuwon to 9th with 27 more strikes and pass Clyde Drexler in eighth with 72 steals.

Playoff Mastery

Having missed the playoffs for just the fourth time in his 19-year career, James would tell you that getting the Lakers back in the playoffs is his top priority, not any individual honor.

James said he felt so out of touch with the league’s biggest stage this summer that he woke up at 3am while on holiday in the Maldives to tune in to games that were happening live.

“How much I hate to watch this because my stomach is burning from not being a part of these games, because this is the best time to play basketball, like, the fan in me can’t [resist]James said on an episode of his YouTube talk show The Shop: Uninterrupted. “I just love it.”

It’s no wonder why he loves the postseason. He ranks first in playoff history in points, field goals, free throws, steals and games played. Not to mention, he’s the only player to rank in the top 10 postseason in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks.

While he’ll have a hard time catching up with the two guys above him in postseason 3-pointers — he’s third behind the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry and Clay Thompson — there are a couple of categories in which he could get some ground.

James is second in playoff triple-doubles history and needs three more to pass Johnson for first place.

And if he can hit 118 rebounds, he’ll pass a pair of former Lakers big men Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O’Neal to move up from sixth to fourth in the postseason standings.

While James has amassed so many records at the moment that many of them seem barely matched by a Lakers star, Abdul-Jabbar’s scoring total catches his eye.

“I’m sort of ecstatic about it,” James said on Monday when asked about approaching the Abdul-Jabbar mark. “Like ‘Wow’. … Sitting here and knowing that I’m on the verge of breaking perhaps the most coveted record in the NBA, something that people have said will probably never be done, is just super humiliating for me. I think it’s super cool.”