When will LeBron break Kareem’s record?

TODAY
38,271
PTS. NEEDED
117
PROJ. GAMES
5
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 117 points he needs to surpass Abdul-Jabbar's career total of 38,387? That depends.


- At his career scoring average of 27.2 points per game, James would need five games to break the mark, putting him on track to do it Feb. 9 against the Milwaukee Bucks.


- At his 2022-23 scoring average of 30.2 points per game, James would need four games to break the mark, putting him on track to do it Feb. 7 against the Oklahoma City Thunder.


- Since turning 38 on Dec. 30, James is averaging 35.2 points per game. If he maintains that average, James also would need four games to break the mark.


This all assumes James plays every game between now and when he breaks the record. After sitting out Monday's game against the Knicks, he will have missed 11 games this season.


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


JAMES VS. ABDUL-JABBAR
Despite James missing 10 games this season, he has already blown past Abdul-Jabbar's point total during his entire 20th and final season. James has scored 1,209 points in 40 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
41
RESULT (L)
125-121 (OT)
James finished with 41 points, his fifth 40-point game of the season -- all of which have come since he turned 38 years old. But it was a point he didn't score -- when a last-second foul that would've sent him to the line for a go-ahead free throw attempt -- went uncalled, sending the game into overtime.
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
26.6
GAME HIGH
52
AP PHOTO/MARK J. TERRILL
James has two career 50-point games against the Knicks, both of which came at Madison Square Garden during his first stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
TUNE IN
JAN. 31, 7:30 P.M. ET: LAKERS AT KNICKS
(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.