How LeBron James Can Surpass Kareem Abdul Jabbar in This Historic NBA Record

Published 09/22/2021, 12:16 PM EDT
Jun 1, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James reacts against the Phoenix Suns in the second half during game five in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James is a versatile player who does everything from playmaking to scoring on the court. There’s a reason why he is considered one of the greatest to ever grace the court. He can single-handedly carry teams to success and has earned almost every achievement in the league at least once in his career.

In his 18 year long illustrious career, James has consistently managed to average more than 20 points a game in every season. This is why he is third on the all-time list of scorers in the NBA, while the legendary Kareem Abdul Jabbar holds the number 1 position.

Will LeBron James ever reach that level and surpass the great Kareem Abdul Jabbar?


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May 27, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) drives to the basket past Phoenix Suns forward Jae Crowder (99) during the fourth quarter of game three in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY | Courtesy: Reuters

What does LeBron James need to surpass Jabbar?

Presently, LeBron James is 3020 points behind Kareem Abdul Jabbar. He is under a contract with the Lakers till the end of the 2022-23 season. That means LeBron will have a total of 20 seasons in the NBA. Considering that he is under a contract for two more full seasons, he will have 164 more games (if he remains healthy).

That means for the next two seasons, he will have to average 18.4 points per game ideally. LeBron is one of only seven players in the history of NBA who has never averaged below 20 points per game in a season, considering that he has consistently done that for 18 years, it’s natural to assume that he can do it for two more.


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However, the key factors to be considered here are his health and role in the franchise. Last season, he admitted that he is no longer at his 100% physical capabilities. And he even spent a huge chunk of last season on the bench. Hence, primarily he needs to remain healthy consistently.

Secondly, this season, the Los Angeles Lakers have made immense changes to their roster. Several experts and analysts have predicted that Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook will be the franchise players for the coming season.

Therefore, if LeBron James focuses on playmaking and rebounding more, he might not be able to surpass Jabbar in that time. However, we have not received any confirmation of when LeBron will retire. So he might play even after his contract ends with the Lakers. Therefore, the odds remain in LeBron’s favor when it comes to surpassing Kareem.


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Will he be able to do it? Only time will tell.


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Chaitanya Dadhwal

506 articles

Chaitanya Dadhwal is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Even though his journalism is driven by his desire to understand both sides of an argument and give a neutral perspective, he is biased towards Houston Rockets and Arsenal, and he has shown exactly how loyal he can be through tough times. Currently a Law student at Jindal Global Law School, he aims to have his own sports management firm one day and enjoys rap music during his time off.