If I walked up to a random person and told them right now that a pass-first type of player was en route to being a top three scorer in NBA history–they would wonder if I’m sane or sober. How does something like that even happen when there are players that have dedicated their entire game and career to scoring? When you’re super human like Lebron James, these things can happen. Lebron, who averages 25 points per game, is a paltry 18 points away from passing Kobe on the all-time scoring list. He’s already passed the greatest player on the list in Michael Jordan
Tonight, Lebron will pass Kobe in Kobe’s hometown as the Lakers take on the Philadelphia 76ers in Philly. This milestone is even more intriguing to watch because Lebron still has an actual chance to surpass Karl Malone and maybe even Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the league’s all-time leading scorer. Throughout his career, Lebron has been the youngest to reach each milestone such as 10, 20, and 30 thousand points en route to his current 33,626. He is still on pace to become the youngest to reach any other scoring milestone that is still within reach for Lebron. Despite being 35 and outside of his groin injury last season, Lebron has been able to keep his body healthy and able to carry a heavy load of playing time throughout his career. They say that the best ability is availability and it’s safe to say that Lebron is the King of that. Players all around hope to have the same type of success in staying injury-free the way he has through a 17-year career. Although, durability only does so much this type of milestone as, he still has to put the ball in the bucket thousands and thousands of times.
Lebron himself will be the first to say every time that he is not a scorer. In fact, he is the only non-point guard and the only player that’s also in the top 10 all-time scoring list, that is in the top 10 in all-time assists. He rather get his teammates into before himself and it clearly shows when you watch him play. There are games where he’s intentionally not shooting the ball even when the defense is sags off of him, daring him to shoot. Instead, in those same games, he has 7-9 assists before halftime. But, despite just having single digit points going into the second half, Lebron still manages to find a way to end the game with 25-35 points. His ability to drive to the basket matched with his eagerness to pass first opens up so much for him. When he attacks, he has the option to pass it out to one of his teammates after pulling the help defense or, if the defense doesn’t budge his way, he can continue his attack and finish with a lay-up or dunk. In recent years, he has developed his outside shot enough to him by and keep the defense honest on the nights where he catches fire beyond the arc as well to add that final element to his game in order to extend his prime.
It is not often you see a 35 year-old NBA player dominate the league the way Lebron does but he puts in the work and takes care of his body on a level that other players can only aspire to match. Because of this, despite not being the most skilled or polished offensive player, he is fourth on the all-time scoring list. Until tonight, when he enters the top three reaching another milestone for arguably one of the greatest careers in the history of sports. Well deserved ‘Bron.