NBA Insider on LeBron James: 'You Would Never Describe Him as a Pure Scorer'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 7, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, left, shoots as Phoenix Suns forward Dario Saric defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

More than 17 years into being arguably the greatest player in NBA history, LeBron James can't seem to escape the idea that he's not a "pure scorer."

"You would never describe him as a pure scorer, but it's because he does so much else," an NBA team employee told The Athletic of James. "But he scores a ton and could score way more if he wanted to, so I'm standing by that. The only reason he's not a pure scorer to some people is because he's so good at everything else."

The Athletic polled 30 people within the NBA, asking them whom they believed to be the league's purest scorer, and James appeared on only two ballots. Kevin Durant ran away with the voting, earning 20 first-place votes, with James Harden coming in second.

James appeared no higher than fourth on a ballot and wound up 10th on the overall vote tally.

While LeBron does not have the nightly outpouring of points that some players on the list have, he's perhaps the most consistent scorer the game has ever seen. LeBron has scored at least 25 points per game in 16 of his 17 seasons, helping him move into third place on the all-time scoring list. He's also the only player in NBA history to post 1,000 straight games with at least 10 points.

For a guy who isn't a "pure" scorer, that's a pretty great list of accomplishments.