Lakers legend says LeBron James wants to make NBA scoring record untouchable for next 60-70 years

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James has scored the most points of any player in league history.

According to former Lakers superstar Shaquille O’Neal, James wants to make his NBA scoring record untouchable for the next 60 to 70 years.

James passed former Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the top spot on the league’s all-time scoring list during a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Feb. 7. He finished the game with 38 points, seven rebounds and three assists in 34 minutes of playing time. The forward also converted four of his six 3-point attempts.

Former Utah Jazz big man Karl Malone, former Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and former Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan round out the top five of the NBA’s all-time scoring leaders.

James is 38 years old and will turn 39 in December, yet he remains one of the best scorers in the NBA today. He averaged 28.9 points per game in 55 games played with the storied Lakers franchise during the 2022-23 regular season and shot 50.0 percent from the field.

Despite being the NBA’s all-time scoring leader, James has led the entire league in scoring just once during his 20 seasons in the pros. He averaged a league-high 30.0 points per game during the 2007-08 regular season when he was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The 2007-08 iteration of the Cavaliers were eliminated by Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics in seven games in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. That Celtics team went on to beat Bryant and the Lakers in the 2008 NBA Finals to win the title.

James is entering his 21st season in the NBA, and no player in league history has averaged more than 7.4 points per game in his 21st season. But the forward will almost certainly shatter the record held by Vince Carter, who averaged 7.4 points per game with the Atlanta Hawks during the 2018-19 regular season.

If James can string together a few more seasons of elite scoring, it’s possible that his scoring record will stand for as long as O’Neal believes James wants it to.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer covering the Lakers’ dreaded rivals, the Boston Celtics, for SB Nation. He has also covered the New York Knicks for The Knicks Wall.