Everything you need to know about LeBron’s quest to pass Kareem

With a layup in the first half against the Washington Wizards on March 19, 2022, LeBron James moved past Karl Malone for second place on the NBA’s career regular-season points list. Now the Los Angeles Lakers star has his eyes set on another Lakers legend, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s current all-time leading scorer.

Abdul-Jabbar has been atop the career points list since April 5, 1984 — eight months before James was even born — when he passed Wilt Chamberlain, who had been the all-time leader since the 1965-66 season. For nearly 60 years, Abdul-Jabbar and Chamberlain have been the only players to hold one of the NBA’s most revered records. Now James is on track to add his name to that group at some point in the 2022-23 season.

We’ll have complete coverage of James’ quest to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer all season long, including updated game-by-game projections, complete scoring stats and a look back at how the four-time MVP put himself on the verge of setting this historic milestone.

MORE: Pelton projects LeBron’s path to passing Kareem

Chasing history

Points back of No. 1: 1,440

Career PPG average: 27.1

Games needed to pass Abdul-Jabbar: 54

The Lakers have 11 games left in the 2021-22 season. If James stays on pace and plays all those games, he’d be on track to break the record in his 43rd game of the 2022-23 season. In 2021-22, the Lakers’ 43rd team game came on Jan. 15. Because he missed time due to injury, James didn’t play his 43rd game until Feb. 27.

Next Up

March 21: Lakers at Cavaliers, 7 p.m. ET

Career average vs. CLE: 29.1 PPG

Career high vs. CLE: 46 points (Jan. 25, 2021)

LeBron vs. Kareem

Though James is looking up at Abdul-Jabbar on the official career points list, he’s already the NBA’s all-time leader when combining regular-season points and postseason points. James is the NBA’s all-time leader in points scored in the playoffs, as well as points scored in the All-Star Game.

NBA’s all-time leading scorers

1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

38,387 points in 20 seasons

  • 24.1 points per game (16th all time)

  • 14,211 points in six seasons with Milwaukee Bucks

  • 24,176 points in 14 seasons with Los Angeles Lakers

2. LeBron James

36,947 points in 19 seasons

  • 27.1 points per game (5th all time)

  • 23,119 points in 11 seasons with Cleveland Cavaliers

  • 7,919 points in four seasons with Miami Heat

  • 5,909 points in four seasons with Los Angeles Lakers

3. Karl Malone

36,928 points in 19 seasons

  • 25.0 points per game (11th all time)

  • 36,374 points in 18 seasons with Utah Jazz

  • 554 points in one season with Los Angeles Lakers

4. Kobe Bryant

33,643 points in 20 seasons

  • 25.0 points per game (12th all time)

  • 33,643 points in 20 seasons with Los Angeles Lakers

5. Michael Jordan

32,292 points in 15 seasons

  • 30.1 points per game (1st all time)

  • 29,277 points in 13 seasons with Chicago Bulls

  • 3,015 points in 2 seasons with Washington Wizards

LeBron’s Journey

LeBron James is changing the scoreboard when it comes to defining his legacy

As LeBron James moves past Karl Malone for second on the all-time scoring list, it’s clear his career won’t be based on championships alone. But how will his rewriting of the most sacred sections of the record books be viewed? Read Brian Windhorst’s column »

The path to history: How LeBron passed Kobe in all-time scoring

For 17 seasons, Kobe Bryant had been ahead of LeBron James on the NBA’s career scoring list. With the King passing Kobe for third place all time, here’s how he got there. See the full journey »

LeBron James’ path to 30,000 career regular-season points

LeBron James became the seventh player to score 30,000 career regular-season points. The King and the many witnesses to his 15-year journey tell us how he got there. Relive the best buckets »

Follow LeBron’s points from 0 to 27,000 and beyond

LeBron James, 37, is the youngest to score 27,000 points in NBA history. See who LeBron passed on his top-10 journey and what it will take to catch Kareem. Follow LeBron’s climb »

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