Lebron James 17th On All-Time Scoring List; When Do We Expect Him to Break the Top Ten?

By Jim Liao
Jim Liao
Jim Liao
December 30, 2015 Updated: January 1, 2016

On Monday, Lebron James passed former Nuggets star Alex English for #17th on the NBA’s all time scoring list after scoring 14 points in a 101-97 victory over the Phoenix Suns.

After another 34 point effort last night, Lebron is now at 25,657 career points. So how long can we expect it to take for Lebron to catch the guys next up on the list?

14. Tim Duncan 26226
15. Paul Pierce 26041
16. Kevin Garnett 26039
17. LeBron James 25657

As you see, #16, #15, and #14 are all active players, with all three players being past their primes. Tim Duncan is currently averaging 9.0 points a game in a bench row with the Spurs; Paul Pierce is averaging 4.7 points in a similar role with the Clippers, and Garnett is averaging 3.3 points in a mentor role for the Timberwolves. So to calculate when Lebron will catch these guys, we simply take the number of points needed and divide it by the difference between Lebron’s current scoring average—25.7 points, and the player’s current scoring average.

As it turns out, Lebron only needs approximatly 17 games to catch Kevin Garnett, 18.3 points to catch Paul Pierce and 33.9 games to catch Tim Duncan.

Looking further ahead, #10 is Hakeem Olajuwon at 26,946 points, a gap that Lebron will close in 50 games at his current pace. So basically, by years end, expect Lebron to be top 10 all time in scoring—that’s where moving up the ranks then gets tough.

Incidentally, today also happens to be Lebron’s 31st birthday. To celebrate, the NBA compiled Lebron’s top 10 plays of 2015.

Jim Liao