When will LeBron break Kareem’s record?

TODAY
38,230
PTS. NEEDED
158
PROJ. GAMES
6
PROJ. DATE
2/7/23

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 158 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 six games to break the mark, putting him on track to do it Feb. 7 against the Oklahoma City Thunder.


- At his 2022-23 scoring average of 29.9 points per game, James would also need six games to break the mark.


- Since turning 38 on Dec. 30, James is averaging 34.8 points per game. If he maintains that average, James would need five games to break the mark, putting him on track to do it Feb. 4 against the New Orleans Pelicans.


This all assumes James plays every game between now and when he breaks the record. He's already missed 10 games this season and the Lakers have one remaining back-to-backs between now and the end of February.


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 surpassed Abdul-Jabbar's point total during his entire 20th and final season. James has scored 1,168 points in 39 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
20
RESULT (W)
113 - 104
James was held to 20 points, his lowest output since Nov. 4. He has scored at least 20 in 31 consecutive games, the fourth-longest streak by a Lakers player over the last 40 seasons.
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
28.8
GAME HIGH
43
ANDREW D. BERNSTEIN/NBAE VIA GETTY IMAGES
James scored 33 points when the Celtics visited Los Angeles last month, going 14-of-25 from the field but just 3-for-11 on 3-pointers.
TUNE IN
JAN. 28, 8:30 P.M. ET: LAKERS AT CELTICS
(ABC)

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.