Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: I'll Be There If Lakers' LeBron James Breaks Scoring Record

Adam WellsJanuary 11, 2022

This photo taken February 4, 2019 shows Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at the Hollywood Reporter's 7th Annual Nominees Night in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX / AFP) / ALTERNATE CROP (Photo by JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX/AFP via Getty Images)

LeBron James is inching closer to the NBA's all-time scoring record that is currently held by Los Angeles Lakers icon Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. 

In response to a tweet from former teammate Magic Johnson about James' recent hot streak, Abdul-Jabbar said he would "gladly" be in attendance to congratulate James "if and when he breaks the scoring record."

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar @kaj33

If he can keep up his consistency I’ll gladly be there to congratulate him if and when he breaks the scoring record.

Abdul-Jabbar scored 38,387 points in 1,560 games during his 20-year career.  

James currently ranks third on the NBA's all-time scoring list with 36,205 points. He is only 723 points behind Karl Malone (36,928) for second. He's averaging 34.2 points per game on 56.7 percent shooting (39.5 percent from three) in his last 11 games dating back to Dec. 19.

At his current rate of 28.9 points per game this season, James will pass Malone in the next 26 games. This assumes he doesn't miss games for rest or due to injuries. 

If James finishes this season at his current rate of 28.9 points per game and plays the remaining 41 games, he will add 1,185 points to his overall total. 

Using his career scoring average of 27.0 points per game next season, James would pass Abdul-Jabbar around the 37th game of the 2022-23 campaign. 

Given James' age (37) and load he is currently carrying for the Lakers, the timetable will almost certainly change. The four-time NBA MVP has already missed 12 games this season with an ankle injury. He missed 27 games last season. 

Abdul-Jabbar has been the NBA's all-time leading scorer since April 1, 1984, when he surpassed Wilt Chamberlain's mark of 31,419 career points.