James Ready To Pass 20,000

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HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – LeBron James is 18 points away from being the 38th player in NBA history to reach the 20,000-point mark. At 28 years and 17 days old, he’ll be the youngest to do it by more than a year.

James has evolved as a player since he entered the league as an 18-year-old in 2003. But from the start, he’s been one of the most unique players in NBA history. You see it in the way he plays the game, but also in his numbers.

James doesn’t quite score like a big man, but he doesn’t score like a typical perimeter scorer either. Of his 19,982 points, 66 percent have come in the paint or at the free throw line. Of the top scorers of the past 10-15 years, that’s a higher mark than anyone but Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Duncan or Dwyane Wade.

Scoring from different areas of the floor

Player PTS %FT %Paint %Mid-range %3P
Ray Allen 23,336 18% 26% 20% 36%
Carmelo Anthony 16,804 25% 40% 24% 11%
Kobe Bryant 30,619 25% 33% 26% 16%
Vince Carter 21,605 20% 33% 25% 22%
Tim Duncan 23,225 23% 55% 22% 0%
Kevin Durant 11,078 26% 32% 24% 17%
Kevin Garnett* 23,974 19% 41% 37% 2%
Allen Iverson 24,368 26% 36% 25% 13%
LeBron James 19,982 24% 43% 19% 14%
Dirk Nowitzki 24,293 25% 24% 35% 16%
Shaquille O’Neal* 20,577 21% 75% 4% 0%
Paul Pierce 23,317 27% 31% 20% 23%
Dwyane Wade 15,632 27% 46% 20% 6%

* Since 1996-97

James does most of his scoring on his own. Of his 19,982 points, 14,251 have come on unassisted field goals (9,540) or on free throws (4,711). In fact, since he came in the league, he’s had more unassisted field goals (4,518) than any other player in the league. Kobe Bryant ranks second with 4,102.

So, even though he spent seven seasons with one franchise (Cleveland), no teammate has assisted James on more than 630 of his points. (For comparison, note that Steve Nash assisted Amar’e Stoudemire on 2,315 of his points.)

Most assists to James

Assisted by FG 3P PTS
Eric Snow 292 46 630
Dwyane Wade 216 38 470
Mo Williams 204 42 450
Jeff McInnis 183 17 383
Zydrunas Ilgauskas 180 34 394

This season, James ranks third (behind Bryant and Russell Westbrook) with 217 unassisted field goals, but he’s having his best shooting season of his career. In fact, James is shooting a career high from almost every area of the floor this season. And his overall field goal percentage has increased each of the last six seasons.

LeBron James, shooting by area

Restricted Area Paint (Non-RA) Mid-Range Corner 3 Above Break 3
Season FGM FGA FG% FGM FGA FG% FGM FGA FG% FGM FGA FG% FGM FGA FG%
2003-04 306 534 57.3% 70 190 36.8% 183 551 33.2% 20 64 31.3% 43 150 28.7%
2004-05 400 572 69.9% 69 201 34.3% 218 603 36.2% 28 57 49.1% 80 251 31.9%
2005-06 459 689 66.6% 47 125 37.6% 242 630 38.4% 25 74 33.8% 102 300 34.0%
2006-07 409 579 70.6% 61 152 40.1% 203 580 35.0% 20 46 43.5% 78 259 30.1%
2007-08 448 645 69.5% 48 130 36.9% 185 508 36.4% 12 36 33.3% 101 321 31.5%
2008-09 405 561 72.2% 59 144 41.0% 193 524 36.8% 17 48 35.4% 115 329 35.0%
2009-10 401 541 74.1% 50 116 43.1% 188 484 38.8% 17 45 37.8% 112 338 33.1%
2010-11 364 518 70.3% 85 201 42.3% 217 487 44.6% 19 59 32.2% 72 215 33.5%
2011-12 315 427 73.8% 64 149 43.0% 188 444 42.3% 6 19 31.6% 48 130 36.9%
2012-13 189 254 74.4% 38 79 48.1% 84 207 40.6% 13 27 48.1% 35 91 38.5%
Totals 3,696 5,320 69.5% 591 1,487 39.7% 1,901 5,018 37.9% 177 475 37.3% 786 2,384 33.0%

James has scored more total points in the first quarter than any other period, but that’s a product of minutes. On a per-minute basis, he does turn the scoring up a notch in the fourth quarter or overtime.

LeBron James, scoring by quarter

Period MIN PTS PTS/12
1st quarter 8,548 5,544 7.8
2nd quarter 5,529 4,141 9.0
3rd quarter 8,430 5,335 7.6
4th quarter 6,113 4,717 9.3
Overtime 263 245 11.2

Because he spent seven seasons in the Central Division, James has scored more points against the Milwaukee Bucks (1,030), Chicago Bulls (1,000) and Indiana Pacers (951) than any other team. But on a per-game basis, James has torched the Utah Jazz more than any other opponent.

LeBron James, highest scoring average by opponent

Opponent GP PTS PPG
Utah 19 579 30.5
Boston 31 937 30.2
Milwaukee 35 1,030 29.4
Chicago 34 1,000 29.4
Portland 18 526 29.2

What team has held James to the fewest points per game? The Los Angeles Clippers: 23.4.

At his career pace of 27.6 points per game, James would need 245 more games to surpass Oscar Robertson (26,710), who currently ranks 10th on the all-time scoring list. At this season’s pace of 26.0 points per game, he’d need 259 more games. But between James and Robertson are six other active players, including Dirk Nowitzki (24,293), who could reach the top 10 before James does with a couple of full, healthy seasons.

At a pace of 26.0 points per game, James need 385 more games (4.7 seasons) to reach the 30,000-point plateau, which Bryant just surpassed last month. So if he doesn’t miss too many games, James could do that in the middle of the 2017-18 season, right around his 33rd birthday.

After that, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is just 8,387 points away. And if James could somehow stay healthy and keep a 26.0 points-per-game pace up, he could become the all-time leading scorer at the tender age of 37.

60 Comments

  1. kevin james says:

    no not the youngest watch out for kevin durant, westbrook and a bunch of talented younger player ….for sure they will break LBJ’s record …

    • bigwes95 says:

      is the youngest! durant could get injured like Rose and not get the record of youngest, and durant came to the league a year or two earlier

  2. Heatfan3 says:

    I think that the best nba player in the league is Kevin durant he is young and athletic he’s a pure shooter he has the stats to prove it he score 20+ ppg in my opinion he is the BEST nba player so far he’s 4 years younger than LBJ who is 28 years old and only has 1 ring so far in his whole nba career durant and Westbrook are leading the Okc the finals and are a very competitive duo I would love to see OKC VS HEAT in the finals we will see who wins the MVP this year…. My opinion

  3. Jake says:

    put lebron to the western conference and let’s see if he still plays like he is right now. i’d rather go with melo or kobe rather than lebron, coz those two have experiences from the wild wild west.

    • bigwes95 says:

      melo isn’t averaging better numbers in the east than he was in the west, he actually averaged numbers better in the west, so will you please tell me why playing in the west is so much harder? and lebron can just dominate durant like he did in the finals (which is why everyone now says he is the best in the league without question, because of how he played good defense on durant and still played better offensively) is there any other really dominating small forward besides durant and gay in the west? and maybe nic batum, who always gives lebron trouble with his defense

  4. HeatKingsofEast says:

    lmfao! many laker kobetards are inventing stats here. the truth is, kobe shot attempts are more than lebron. i think kobe is 22.3 and lebron 18.7 pls don’t make up things. and if there is no lockout last season. lebron could had 20k pts last season or before he turned 28 last december.

  5. PAPA says:

    One thing I must say, no comparison between the greatest MJ and Kobe with Lebron, he depends more on athleticism and this wont last for long time, where as Kobe and MJ have the agility and intelligence, Lebron has just the physic and size but no dominance or championships except 1 and perhaps the last one with his current team.

  6. Elgin West says:

    Lebron’s the youngest to 20,000 points…but not the fastest…that would be Wilt Chamberlain by far…499 games (40 ppg)…Michael Jordan 2nd with 620 games

  7. Dan k says:

    Like it is significant! Only winning champion count. No one talk about runner up and same thing with Pro bowl. It sounds pathetic to mention all irrelevant as if it means something while one cannot get the right one right. LBJ just needs to win couple more championship to solidify his status. Otherwise, all the talk is just bs when guys like MJ, Kobe just need to let the rings on their fingers do the talk.

    • bigwes95 says:

      so if championships are the only things that count, then your admitting that bill russell is the greatest off all time? not saying he’s not, but you know if you add all the championships of MJ and Kobe together, it EQUALS the amount of russell. so russell will let his rings talk.

  8. kenny says:

    no he woun’t beable to out score kareem because of him playing on the heat with wade and bosh he won’t get enough shots

  9. Patty says:

    Lebron James is showing his true colors in regards to throwing D. Wade & Chris under the bus.

  10. dan says:

    I think the most amazing statistic is his 4th quarter points. He has more points per 12 minutes than any other quarter.

  11. lebron is the king yall be hatin on his hairline when kobe dont even have one. lebron will dunk all over kobe

  12. Francisco says:

    i TOLD YOU GUYS, HIS BEST QUATER IS THE FOUR, SORRY KOBE,

    • mamba says:

      no he played the least minutes in the fourth so his points per 12 minutes was highest. thats why it said /12

  13. JMaine says:

    besides Jordan and Kobe who have you seen better? Hate all you want, but LBJ is the best player out there and there has never been a player in the league like him. I rather enjoy this type of player while i can cuz i don’t know if i’ll be lucky enough to see another. I hate when people try to dismiss what Lebron dose cuz they mad how he left the Cav’s. Get over it and get over Jordan he is never going to play again. so i will never know who was better. yall can think you know but you can only compare players to players of they’re time.

    • BIGMatta23 says:

      I dont need to compare players to other players of their time, I look at what they do on the court and how they play the goddamn game!!! That’s all iIneed to see to know who is a better Basketball player regardless of era. That’s just my humble opinion.

  14. macattack says:

    ( To Big Bang Theory )

    The chart says * since 1996-1997 *
    Shaq was drafted in 1992 . The chart is infact correct and you are wrong.

    Lebron won’t be the all time leading scorer. The league is way different now than it was back then. The evolution of the game has changed, the athletism and the way some of these NBA players are built won’t allow Lebron to score as easily as previous players have. Some new rules have come into effect and the ability of players to defend well in the league today is very scary, not to mention new players coming to the league in years to come that bring outstanding talent as well.

  15. big bang theory says:

    there are some errors in this chart, shaq does not have 20,000 point he has more than that around 28,000 points , and they are missing jason kidd and steve nash they have some points under their belt too

  16. LordP says:

    He’s just AMAZING..i’m happy to witness the Greatness of this Young black man!!

  17. dj rgm9 says:

    Le travel has the possibility to be the topscorer all time,he need’s another 9year to reach it.To be consider him as the best player all time nope!!!To be the best scorer all time he needs to play until the end of his career without longtime injury’s of course.
    He’s not Superman staying without injury’s in his career!So to be best player all time he need’s to stay injuryles and change his gamestyle when he’s over 30 years,posting up much more with deadly fakes&jumpshot’s like Jordan or Kobe!I d’ont see this happening when his career is over.The best player all time i d’ont think so,maybe the best topscorer all time.

  18. Kevin says:

    LeBron has the best chance at staying healthy for a long long scoring career: he’s a freak of nature physically, he is hardworking and serious about conditioning, he’s smart on the court and doesn’t force wild drives ending with hard falls (like the way AI, D Wade, Westbrook plays), and he has a variety of methods to score. When he starts losing his athleticism, he can just go to his post game and jump shots like MJ did in his later years (just because he doesn’t shoot as many as others doesn’t mean he’s not good at it, he’s at 40+% from 3 point range!) I would love to see Durant experience longevity as well but he has to put on some muscles to avoid injuries, I’d hate to see him go the same way T-Mac went, as they are basically the same type of player offensively and built-wise, except Durant is even more frail than T-Mac.

    • Carl says:

      But the athleticism will eventually leave him, and he can’t shoot like Kevin Durant. What happens then? Remember, this is his 10th season already. He may not want to play much longer.

      • KC says:

        What does this mean, “he can’t shoot like Durant”? Kevin Durant is shooting 52.4% overall and 40.2% from 3pt range. Lebron’s numbers are 54.6% overall and 40.7 from 3pt range. I’m not an LBJ fan, I don’t even like Lebron, but I can acknowledge greatness when I see it. If you must hate on him, at least make points that are actually true, unless you mean that their stroke production is different. Which is true, but not terribly interesting.

      • Phil says:

        @KC

        There is a difference between shooting and scoring. James dunks a lot more because he is bigger and more athletic. KD has a shooting touch that he won’t lose even when he’s 40 and can’t drive the lane against younger athletic players. LeBron’s play style isn’t built for longevity becuase of the heavy reliance on athleticism. I’m not saying that’s bad becaus James is a beast of an athlete, but he won’t last as long in the league because once he starts slowing down he has nothing at all. is rebounding, scoring, and defense all rely on being a freak athlete.

    • Megan says:

      He will stay healthy

  19. Realistic says:

    Where the haters at?

  20. rr schneider says:

    NBA media loves to point out everything they can can find about this guy, but there are other player that you neglect
    to give them their proper respect. You don’t see nobody but Lebron and you just keep hammering to convince us Lebron
    James is so great! All I have say is I seen many, many players so much better than Lebron James . I don’t know why you people keep trying to make believe Lebron James to be so great. But, I must tell you that to you can’t fool everybody.
    We have seen much better players than this guy.

    • AVH says:

      The reason he is covered so much is because he is simply outstanding. The same thing happened to Kobe and MJ when they were in their prime. People love to hear about superstars and at the moment the best superstar is Lebron.

    • dattebayo says:

      Well, than why don’t you name a few players, that are better?

      • Elgin West says:

        Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Hakeem Olajuwon

      • dattebayo says:

        I am pretty sure he didn’t mean all time and if you want to argue that, that’s quite unreasonable and unfair to LeBron, because he is only half way through his career. He is on track for his 4th MVP and if he gets 3-4 rings total, he will have had a better career than many of the players you mentioned.

        Olajuwon is my all time favorite center, but he only has 1 MVP and two rings.
        Kobe has only 1 MVP and missed the playoffs in his prime. If you think Shaq didn’t earn those 3 Finals MVPs, you’re a fool.
        Bird and Magic played next to 3-5 HoF players almost every year, the Heat are a joke compared to that.
        And please, if you think Lebron is a choke artist because of 2011, what do you call West and Baylor who lost 8 straight Finals?
        Jordan, Russell and Jabbar are in a league of their own, Lebron can still reach them though.

    • KC says:

      So who’s better than Lebron? Just curious. Do you mean in the NBA now, or all time? Because it’s hard to compare players from different eras.

      Thing is, James does a lot more than just score. He facilitates and makes his teammates better. I think about Magic Johnson but even that comparisons not quite accurate. Magic didn’t have Lebron’s overwhelming physical presence inside. To be honest, LBJ is a unique, once-in-a-generation player. He actually lives up to the hype, even though you don’t like the hype.

  21. Tomas says:

    I believe he will stay somewhere around 34-36 thousand pts.. but if it will be his goal to make it, sure he will do it.

  22. Durant says:

    i say no as long as long is kobe is still playing….. im not not saying it is impossible but i dont think so….. i hope durant does though. GO THUNDER!!!!!!

  23. Naaah he cares about rings unlike Kobe who jack up 30+ shots a game and only avg. over 5 more points then James..
    James should be a Lil selfish n score like 10pts each quarter then he would avg around 40 a game n that be sweet….
    Gaaaaah!

    • KC says:

      This is a strange comparison to make, given that Kobe has 5 rings and Lebron has 1. Kobe just wants to win, and he trusts teammates if they are making shots.

      • kjones082 says:

        He is getting closer to Kobe and he has more MVP’s than him. I don’t like toget caught up in Kobe Lebron talk because Kobe has been in the league through multiple Era’s (Jordan:Bulls, Shaq:Lakers, Duncan:Spurs, Kobe:Lakers, Lebron:Heat?)

  24. Lol@nbaBLOGcomments says:

    Btw If Lebron shot as much as Kobe does he’d probably have 22-23 thousand points +

    • rick says:

      You act like kobe has had help… hes hardly had howard and nash this year and last year bynum and gasol were headcases. Mind you Gasol continues to stink up the court. After that who do you, have meta world peace? clearly the teams better off with him taking those shots. The Lakers are a team filled with Luke Waltons.

      • Adam says:

        And LeBron had more help in Cleveland? Kobe has had a better roster for his entire career excluding the 2011 and 2012 seasons. That is the worst excuse I have ever heard in my life.

      • sted says:

        kobe had a lot of help, but I guess you only can remember last year, what about the years they won the championship.. dont get amnesia

    • Elgin West says:

      check your info first…LeBron 20.3 shots per game career…Kobe 19.6 shots per game career

      • Sam says:

        I cant believe thats true!!!! but I Just checked and it iss true!, lol!

      • dattebayo says:

        How about you think a little, before you posts useless stats? Kobe played with Shaq for 9 years and after they won their first title, Kobe started taking more shots than Shaq. Let me repeat that, he took more shots than the most efficient and most dominant (and most valuable) player in the game.

        Kobe attempted 20.5 shots per game next to a prime Shaq from 1999-2004, Shaq took only 18.3 shots per game.
        Since Shaq left, Kobe attempted 22 shots per game.

        Lebron averaged 20.8 shots per game in Cleveland, in Miami he only takes 18.7 shots a game.

        If Lebron had taken as many shots as Kobe (1.2 more shots while in Cleveland and 1.8 more shots while in Miami), he’d have a lot more points. That’s a simple fact.

      • dattebayo says:

        And if you look at their shot attempts per 36 minutes, Kobe shoots 19.3 times a game, Lebron only attempts 18.3 shots.
        Again, if Lebron had taken as many shots as Kobe, he’d have a lot more points. That’s a simple fact.

      • BIGMatta23 says:

        I keep seeing this useless bloody stat. The first year of Kobes career he played like 15 minutes a game and avg 7 points. Lebron was straight into averaging 20+. Kobe was a bench warmer and then a 2nd/3rd/4th option his first 4-6 years in the league so it stands to reason that his shots per game average will be lower. It means nothing. move on!!!

      • Scott The Magician says:

        wow!!!!! i never would have thought that

    • Megan says:

      Wat everr He’s soooooooooooooooooooooooo HOT

      • TheStarMiddleschooler says:

        really? just wow get off this blog this is for real basketball fans not HES SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOT :P

  25. Lol@nbaBLOGcomments says:

    Best in the world haters gonna hate.

  26. cdubbb24 says:

    UMMM… NO

  27. dirk45 says:

    I don’t really believe that we’ll see James till 2021-22. He is too athletic to do this another 9 years.