2019-20 Kia Season Preview
2019-20 Kia Season Preview

6 milestones to watch for in 2019-20 season

LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Gregg Popovich are among those nearing history

From NBA.com Staff

Oct 21, 2019 12:46 PM ET

Stephen Curry and LeBron James could further cement their statistical legacies in 2019-20.

The 2019-20 season is set to begin and there's no shortage of notable stats and numbers to know before basketball begins. Here are six you should keep in mind once the regular season tips off Tuesday night ...

> NBA.com/Stats: Even more milestones to watch for

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LeBron could soon pass Kobe

Relive some of LeBron James' best plays with the Lakers last season!

The Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James begins his 17th season needing 1,101 points to pass Kobe Bryant for third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.

Based on his career average, James (32,543 points) would need 41 games to pass Bryant (33,643) and settle in behind No. 1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) and No. 2 Karl Malone (36,928).

The potential scoring milestone is just the start for James in 2019-20. He is poised to climb closer to the top in several major categories. Based on his career averages, here are some of his projected all-time regular-season rankings by the end of this season.

LeBron James' rankings in NBA history
CategoryStart of seasonEnd of season (projected)
FG Made5th4th
3P Made19thTop 16
FT Made8th5th

On another scoring note, James is on the verge of becoming the third player to record at least 1,000 games of 20 or more points.

Most 20-point games in NBA history
Karl Malone1,134
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar1,122
LeBron James993
Kobe Bryant941
Michael Jordan926


Westbrook on cusp of history

What should the Rockets expect from Russell Westbrook in 2019-20?

With his next triple-double, Westbrook will pass Magic Johnson for sole possession of second place in NBA history. Westbrook needs 44 triple-doubles to pass Oscar Robertson for the most ever. Westbrook’s career high for triple-doubles in a season is 42, an NBA record set in 2016-17.

Westbrook has also led the NBA in assists in each of the last two seasons (after James Harden did so in 2016-17). If Westbrook leads the NBA in assists in 2019-20, he would become the sixth player to win three consecutive assist titles.

Most triple-doubles in NBA history
PlayerCareer triple-doubles
Oscar Robertson181
Magic Johnson138
Russell Westbrook138
Jason Kidd107
LeBron James81


Third straight scoring crown for Harden?

Relive some great plays from James Harden's 2018-19 season!

Last season, Harden finished with the eighth-highest single-season scoring average in NBA history (36.1 ppg), giving him his second straight scoring title. If Harden leads the NBA in scoring in 2019-20, he would become the eighth player to win three consecutive scoring titles.

Most consecutive NBA scoring titles
Michael Jordan71986-87 to 1992-93
Wilt Chamberlain71959-60 to 1965-66
Kevin Durant32009-10 to 2011-12
Michael Jordan31995-96 to 1997-98
George Gervin31977-78 to 1979-80
Bob McAdoo31973-74 to 1975-76
Neil Johnston31952-53 to 1954-55
George Mikan31948-49 to 1950-51


Popovich (and the Spurs) roll along

Take an all-access look at Gregg Popovich last season.

Gregg Popovich will coach the San Antonio Spurs for the 24th straight season, breaking a tie with Jerry Sloan for the longest tenure in NBA history. Sloan led the Utah Jazz for 23 seasons in a row. Since Popovich took over as Spurs coach on Dec. 10, 1996, the number of coaches used by other NBA teams is 270. (That total includes head coaches who were hired in the 2019 offseason). Every team has had at least three coaches and as many as 14 in the Popovich era.

Longest NBA coaching tenures with one team
CoachTeamSeasonFirst seasonLast season
Gregg PopovichSan Antonio Spurs231996-97--
Jerry SloanUtah Jazz231988-892010-11
Red AuerbachBoston Celtics161950-511965-66
Alvin AttlesS.F./Golden State Warriors141969-701982-83
John MacLeodPhoenix Suns141973-741986-87

Popovich has led the Spurs to the playoffs in all 22 of his full seasons on the job. With 22 straight postseason appearances, San Antonio is tied with the Syracuse Nationals/ Philadelphia 76ers for the longest streak in NBA history. The Spurs last missed the playoffs in 1996- 97, the season before the arrival of Tim Duncan, who is now back with them as an assistant coach.

Most consecutive playoff appearances
Philadelphia 76ers221949-501970-71
San Antonio Spurs221997-982018-19
Portland Trail Blazers211982-832002-03
Utah Jazz201983-842002-03
Boston Celtics191950-511968-69


Carter's potential record-setting season

Vince Carter is heading into his 22nd NBA season.

When he takes the court in 2019-20, the Atlanta Hawks’ Vince Carter will set the NBA record for seasons played at 22. Carter, 42, is the last active player drafted in the 1990s (No. 5 pick in 1998) and potentially the first player to play in four decades (if he appears in a game in 2020). He is also close to joining the rare 1,500-game club.

Most NBA seasons played
Vince Carter*21
Kevin Garnett21
Dirk Nowitzki21
Robert Parish21
Kevin Willis21
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar20
Kobe Bryant20

* = Doesn't include 2019-20 season

Most NBA games played
Robert Parish1,611
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar1,560
Dirk Nowitzki1,522
John Stockton1,504
Vince Carter1,481

Only three players have appeared in an NBA game at 43 or older. Carter turns 43 on Jan. 26.

Oldest players in an NBA game
Nat Hickey45-363Jan. 28, 1948
Kevin Willis44-224April 18, 2007
Robert Parish43-232April 19, 1997
Dikembe Mutombo42-289April 10, 2009
Vince Carter42-74April 10, 2019
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar42-7April 23, 1989


Steph seeking more 3-point records

Stephen Curry was in high-scoring form in the 2019 NBA preseason.

As the 2019-20 season begins, the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry is chasing two Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famers on the career list for 3-pointers made.

Most 3-pointers made in NBA history
Ray Allen2,973
Reggie Miller2,560
Stephen Curry2,483
Kyle Korver2,351
Jason Terry2,282

Stephen Curry needs to make 78 3-pointers to pass Reggie Miller for second place in NBA history. Based on last season’s average, the Warriors’ star would need 16 games to pass Miller. At his current pace, Curry would pass Ray Allen for the top spot during the 2020-21 season.

Curry ranks second in the NBA and in his own family in 3-point field percentage among active players. Seth Curry, now back with the Dallas Mavericks after facing Stephen in the 2019 Western Conference finals as a member of the Portland Trail Blazers, has a slight edge over the two-time Kia NBA MVP for the No. 1 position (minimum 250 3-pointers made).

Seth and Steph rank third and fifth, respectively, in all-time 3-point field goal percentage. The list is topped by Steph’s coach, Steve Kerr.

Highest 3-point FG%, active players
Seth Curry30168643.9
Stephen Curry2,4835,69043.6
Kyle Korver2,3515,47842.9
Joe Harris4501,05342.7
Klay Thompson1,7984,29041.9


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