The King’s Quest

When will LeBron break Kareem’s record?

TODAY
38,352
PTS. NEEDED
36
PROJ. GAMES
2
PROJ. DATE
2/9/23

LeBron James is on the verge of passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA's all-time leading scorer. Abdul-Jabbar has been atop the career points list since April 5, 1984, when he broke the mark previously held by Wilt Chamberlain. Now James has that record within reach.


So when will James score the 36 points he needs to surpass Abdul-Jabbar's career total of 38,387?


James is averaging 30.0 points per game this season, putting him on track to break the record Thursday at home against the Milwaukee Bucks, Abdul-Jabbar's original team.


We'll have ongoing coverage of The King's quest, including updated game-by-game projections and complete stats, throughout the season.


JAMES VS. ABDUL-JABBAR
Despite missing 11 games this season, James has already blown past Abdul-Jabbar's point total during his entire 20th and final season. James has scored 1,290 points in 43 games in 2022-23; Abdul-Jabbar scored 748 for the 1988-89 season.
JAMES
ABDUL-JABBAR
YEAR-BY-YEAR POINT TOTALS
20TH YEAR COMPARISON
“It’s just amazing to watch him. It’s his 20th season, and what he’s doing -- he’s scoring 30, 40 almost every night. He’s just incredible.”
LUKA DONCIC
Dallas Mavericks guard on LeBron James
Photo by Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
LAST GAME
OPP.
POINTS
27
RESULT (L)
131 - 126
James is now just 36 points away from breaking Abdul-Jabbar's record after scoring 27 against the Pelicans -- his 35th consecutive game with at least 20 points. That's the third-longest streak of his career.
LAST 5 GAMES
OPPONENT
DATE
POINTS
“The scoring record was never, ever even thought of in my head because I’ve always been a pass-first guy.”
LeBRON JAMES
To ESPN's Dave McMenamin
AP Photo/Jess Rapfogel
NEXT GAME
OPP.
CAREER PPG
28.1
GAME HIGH
44
AP PHOTO/SUE OGROCKI
Could Tuesday be the day? It's not outside the realm of possibility. James has scored at least 36 points four times in 34 career games against the Thunder franchise. He also has scored at least that many nine times this season.
TUNE IN
FEB. 7, 10 P.M. ET: THUNDER AT LAKERS
(TNT)

Edited by Adam Reisinger.

Produced by ESPN Creative Studio: Michelle Bashaw, Rob Booth, Chris DeLisle, Jessi Dodge, Heather Donahue, Jarret Gabel, Luke Knox, Rachel Weiss.

Illustrations by Iveta Karpathyova. Development by Christian Ramirez. Research by ESPN Stats & Information.