It doesn't feel like he's been in the league long enough to rack up 20,000 points, but then again, he is the most exciting and intriguing player to come into the league since Michael Jordan.
He's been criticized, ostracized and flat-out hated for some of the things he's done off the floor, but every time he steps on the court, LeBron forces everybody to shut up and enjoy what he's doing.
But where, through roughly nine-and-a-half seasons, does LeBron rank among the best scorers in the history of the game?
You may be surprised. Just take a look at how he compares so far against the top scorers of all time:
Couldn't fit it in the column, but here's a graph of LeBron vs. top 5 all-time in scoring by age. twitter.com/tomhaberstroh/…— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) January 16, 2013
Let's take a closer look at where he stacks up and evaluate where he will eventually end up.
Points Per Game: 25.1 (26.2 in the NBA)
Total Points: 26,595 (20,708 in the NBA)
Effective Field-Goal Percentage: 50.70 (51.33 in the NBA)
As a guy who can most closely resemble a 1970s version of LeBron James, George Gervin's legacy is victimized by a few things.
First of all, he played in San Antonio before it became a more nationally recognized team in the '90s. He also played a good portion of his career in the ABA, which tends to hurt a legacy more than help it in the long run.
If he had the three-point line for more of his career, perhaps he could have proved to be one of the league's first long-range forwards. Still, he put up huge numbers.
The flashy athleticism and ability to get to the rack lives on in grainy highlights, but it's still thrilling to see glimpses of him from the past. He could score like no other and was efficient when he did it.
Plus, he ended up leading the league in scoring four different times over the course of five seasons.
Points Per Game: 25.68
Total Points: 26,710
Effective Field-Goal Percentage: 48.5
Oscar Robertson didn't just average a triple-double over the course of a season; he was also a supremely talented scorer.
Robertson was terrific at getting to the rim and putting up shots in an era where driving was more difficult.
Sure, he was 6'5" (very sizable for a small forward in those days), but this was a league dominated by fast-paced play, tons of shots and big guys dropping in buckets whenever they could.
It's impressive that he was able to walk away from this fast-paced era with an effective field-goal percentage of 48.5.
Points Per Game: 27.56
Total Points: 20,007
Effective Field-Goal Percentage: 51.86
He has a ton of points for a guy his age, and he's scoring at a rate that would put him at third all time in points per game.
As LeBron continues to pass guys on the all-time scoring list and watches his effective field-goal percentage climb (he's shot above 51.86 percent every season since 2009), he could end up jumping up in the ranks more quickly than expected.
If he keeps getting to the rim, improving his post game and scoring at a high rate, he should be knocking on the 30,000-point club sooner than anyone in history.
Who knows, he could even end up passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time points leader when all is said and done.
Points Per Game: 27.03
Total Points: 25,192
Effective Field-Goal Percentage: 47.40
Jerry West played his entire career in a time when the highest-scoring players in the league were those who could hunker down low and drop it in through an elbow to the jaw.
While West was pretty big for a point guard at 6'2", he was still quite a bit shorter than the majority of the league's best scorers throughout the '60s and early '70s.
Not only was he able to keep a respectable field-goal percentage, coming out with a solid effective field-goal percentage, but he was able to become one of the league's top-grossing scorers and stay high on the list for decades.
West's 27.03 points per game is fifth most in the history of the game, a number that has held up since he retired in 1974.
Points Per Game: 25.53
Total Points: 30,619
Effective Field-Goal Percentage: 48.7
Kobe Bryant has scored points in droves, and he seems to get better as he ages.
Bryant was the youngest player to reach 30,000 points, and he's the first guard to come anywhere near that number since Michael Jordan crossed that threshold back in 2002.
In his 17th year in the league, Kobe is averaging nearly 30 points per game, shooting a career-high 47.8 percent from the field and boasting a 52.4 effective field-goal percentage.
To point out just how crazy his scoring binge is, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar last averaged 29 points per game or more in his sixth year in the league. He played 14 more seasons without approaching that number again.
Points Per Game: 24.16 (21.97 in the NBA)
Total Points: 30,026 (18,364 in the NBA)
Effective Field-Goal Percentage: 50.86 (50.90 in the NBA)
Julius Erving put together what was perhaps the most interesting career of any player in the history of the NBA. Spending five brain-meltingly amazing years in the ABA thrust him into the NBA as a 26-year-old with an insane amount of hype.
Whether or not he would have been able to reach such heights in the first five years in the NBA is up for debate, but the fact that he was able to put up such huge numbers is impossible to ignore.
Because of that, you can't really consider him a member of the 30,000-point club, but you also can't look at his NBA average and assume that's what it should be either.
In the end, he probably would have fallen just short of the 30,000-point threshold, but he would have gone down as one of the greatest scorers in the history of the league whether he started in the ABA or the NBA.
Points Per Game: 25.02
Total Points: 36,928
Effective Field-Goal Percentage: 51.78
At times a volume-scoring big man, Karl Malone eventually retired with the second-most points in NBA history.
His career average is very impressive when you realize that he was able to put up a season of at least 25 points per game 12 times in his career. He first did it in 1988, his third season in the league, and kept it up every year but once until 2000.
Malone had the advantage of John Stockton dropping passes down into him for the duration of his career, but that doesn't take away the fact that he was able to score at such a high and relatively efficient level for such a long time.
Points Per Game: 30.07
Total Points: 31,419
Effective Field-Goal Percentage: 53.97
As one of two players in the history of the NBA with a career 30 PPG average, Wilt Chamberlain will always be looked at as one of the most dominant players of all time. Regardless of the qualifiers people put in sentences that describe him, everyone acknowledges that his game was amazing.
That being said, Chamberlain played in a strange time.
Defenses were confusing jumbles, offenses were incredibly fast-paced and most of the other centers he was going up against were bordering on 6'10" at the most.
Even still, his 31,000-plus points is amazing, as is his 30 points per game.
Would he have played in the '90s or the 2000s, Chamberlain would have undoubtedly been successful, but it's hard to say just how successful.
Points Per Game: 30.12
Total Points: 32,292
Effective Field-Goal Percentage: 50.87
When you look at what Michael Jordan did in just 15 seasons in the NBA, it's a bit upsetting that he retired twice—taking away a good 5,000 to 7,000 points, and probably even more than that.
We could have had the only member of the 40,000-point club if things had gone a bit differently.
Still, looking at Jordan's career as it was takes nothing away from his legacy as a scorer.
In a time when it was much harder for guards to get to the rim and score than it is today, Jordan was able to do it often and efficiently. And it led to him ending with the best scoring average in the history of the NBA.
Points Per Game: 24.61
Total Points: 38,387
Effective Field-Goal Percentage: 55.95
It seems like the guy with the most points in the history of the league should be looked upon as its greatest scorer, but that's more of a testament toward longevity than anything else.
If you want a testament to how great a scorer he was, look no further than his amazing effective field-goal percentage or incredibly high scoring average over the course of his 20-year career.
Every ounce of me wanted to find reasons to leapfrog Michael Jordan atop Abdul-Jabbar based on the fact that MJ averaged over 30 points per game. But something has to be said about the fact that Kareem's effective field-goal percentage is 13th all time in NBA history, while most of the guys around him on that list never crossed the 10,000-point threshold in their careers.
He was consistently creating new ways to score while relying on the old faithful sky hook.
LeBron James has a chance to catch Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the all-time scoring record, but he's certainly not a lock to get there.
Watch Bleacher Report's Ethan Strauss and Will Leivenberg debate whether or not LeBron has a realistic shot of catching Kareem.