LeBron James Joins Elite Company with 9th 2,000-Point Season

Joe FlynnContributor IApril 9, 2014

Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) drives around Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen (9) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Mark Humphrey

LeBron James is a machine. Give the man an 82-game regular season, and he will give you at least 2000 points.

The Miami Heat forward passed the 2000-point mark for the ninth time in his already legendary 11-year career, per ESPN Numbers:

James came into Wednesday needing only 11 points to top the 2000 mark. He achieved 2000 on the nose with a slam dunk in the second quarter of a game against the Memphis Grizzlies

Not only is this James' ninth 2000-point season of his career, it is the ninth-consecutive 82-game season in which the four-time league MVP has reached that plateau. He scored 1683 in the lockout-shortened 2011-12 campaign. His rookie year, 2003-04, was the only full season in which James failed to score 2000.

James was already in elite scoring company before this season. He came into 2013-14 tied with Kobe Bryant, Alex English and Dominique Wilkins with eight 2000-point seasons. English and Wilkins are already in the Hall of Fame, while Bryant is a lock to be enshrined as soon as he is eligible. 

Surprisingly, it is not the all-time scoring leader, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, with the most 2000-point campaigns. Karl Malone is in first place with 12. Michael Jordan had 11, while Abdul-Jabbar is now tied with James at nine.

But James has always fancied himself as more than just a scorer. Before the start of the 2013-14 season, he sat down with ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard and described what he believes to be his own unique style of play—a style that requires a more selfless approach: 

The so-called gurus of basketball want LeBron to be Bernard King. I'm not Bernard King. I'm not a flat-out scorer like that. That's not all that I do. I do a little bit of everything. I averaged 31 in Cleveland my third or fourth year, and that didn't get us anywhere. I led the league in scoring. People forget that. I led the league in scoring one year, and I think I was second or third behind Kobe and Allen Iverson another year. [James actually has finished second in points per game three times.] I think it's great that you can put up a lot of points, but that ain't my legacy -- being a scorer. When you say LeBron James, you ain't gonna say, "Ahh, man, he was a flat-out scorer." I did a little bit of everything. I can score, though.

The only question now is whether the 29-year-old James can make a run at Malone's 12-year mark. If he reaches it, perhaps even he will have to reconsider the notion that he is not a flat-out scorer.


All statistics courtesy of stats.nba.com unless otherwise noted.