LeBron James finished with 25 points in the Cleveland Cavaliers' 102-101 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, and in doing so, he surpassed Hakeem Olajuwon for 10th place on the NBA's all-time scoring list, according to ESPN.com's Dave McMenamin.
Following Saturday night, James has 26,970 career points.
After the game, the four-time MVP deflected credit for the achievement, per McMenamin:
For me, scoring has never been on my list of goals. Facilitating, getting my guys involved, and rebounding, defending, getting blocked shots and things of that nature always ranked above that, and for me to be in the top 10 with so many great players that's played this game -- I don't know how many, I don't even know the list of how many guys have played in this league since the inaugural year -- but ... it's just a blessing. It's an honor.
Here's a look at the top 10, per Basketball-Reference.com:
|NBA Top 10 All-Time Scorers|
James could overtake both Moses Malone and Elvin Hayes before the end of the 2016-17 season. He's 343 points behind Hayes and 439 behind Malone.
Shaquille O'Neal, on the other hand, might be out of reach until 2017-18, as he's 1,626 points ahead of James.
In September, Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue said he planned to give his best player more rest than he has had the past few years, per McMenamin. Through six games, James is averaging 36.3 minutes a night, which is slightly below his career average (39.0 mpg) but higher than last year (35.6 mpg).
Should James maintain a similar workload, jumping ahead of O'Neal into seventh place is attainable. If his minutes begin declining, though, he's unlikely to accrue enough points to supplant the Big Aristotle.