LeBron James NBA All-Time Scoring Leader

The New Scoring King

LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are the two most prolific scorers in NBA history thanks to a combination of production and longevity over two decades in the league.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James are the only two players to ever reach 38,000 career points. Can you guess the scoring progressions throughout their careers?

An elite scorer from Day 1, Kareem averaged 28.8 points as a rookie in 1969-70. He scored 14,211 points in six seasons in Milwaukee, then headed to L.A. He reached the top 10 in 1977, passed Wilt Chamberlain to become the all-time leader in 1984 and retired in 1989.

Entering the NBA in 2003 out of high school, LeBron began his journey up the scoring ranks at a similar pace to Kareem. LeBron’s the youngest player to reach 10K, 20K and 30K career points and has averaged 25+ points for 19 straight seasons.

Entering the 2022-23 season, it was not a question of if – but rather when – LeBron would break Kareem’s all-time scoring record.

LeBron’s Evolution As A Scorer

LeBron’s path to the all-time scoring title has included over 14K baskets, 2K 3-pointers, and 8K free throws. Looking at shot charts from his rookie season until now will show how his shot selection has changed over the past 20 seasons.

As a rookie, LeBron averaged 20.9 PPG. He was, as always, effective in the paint, but shot a career-low 29.0% from 3-point range.

In 2012-13 with Miami, LeBron remained dominant in the paint, but also had his most efficient season from deep — shooting 40.6% from 3-point range – providing a preview to next evolution of his scoring.

In his last two seasons with the Lakers, you can see how LeBron’s scoring has evolved, shifting more towards the perimeter. This transformation has ensured LeBron’s prolonged greatness.

Which teams did LeBron score the most against?

LeBron’s tortured many fan bases across the NBA over the past 20 seasons. From his career-best 61-point game against Charlotte, to his multiple 50+ point games against Washington, New York and Milwaukee, here’s a look at which teams he’s scored the most points against.

No team has allowed more points to LeBron James than the Milwaukee Bucks. LeBron has scored 1,749 points in 61 career games vs. Milwaukee for an average of 28.7 PPG.

During his 11 seasons in Cleveland, over two stints, LeBron scored more points against the Chicago Bulls (1,217) than any other opponent.

During his four-year run with the Heat from 2010-2014, LeBron scored more points against the Charlotte Bobcats (Charlotte Hornets franchise) than any other opponent.

Since joining the Lakers in 2018, LeBron has scored more points against the San Antonio Spurs (409) than any other opponent.

Here is another look at LeBron’s scoring against all opponents

Here’s the breakdown with the Cavaliers

Here’s the breakdown with the Heat

Here’s the breakdown with the Lakers

Assisting The King

Of LeBron’s 14,040 field goals made, 5,220 have been assisted by a teammate entering Tuesday night. Which players have set up LeBron to score most frequently during his time in Cleveland, Miami and Los Angeles?

LeBron and Dwyane Wade spent four seasons together in Miami and half a season as teammates in Cleveland. During that time, Wade assisted on 361 of LeBron’s made baskets, the most of any teammate. The partnership was reciprocal as LeBron assisted Wade 428 times.

Over LeBron’s 11 seasons in Cleveland, no player set up scoring opportunities for LeBron more than Eric Snow with 292 assists.

Of Dwyane Wade’s 361 assists to LeBron, 337 came during their four years as teammates in Miami. Mario Chalmers ranked second with 271 assists to LeBron with the Heat.

This is the second season that LeBron and Russell Westbrook have been teammates with Russ dishing 168 assists to LeBron, the most of any Laker during LeBron’s four-plus seasons in L.A.

Here are the players that assisted LeBron grouped together by team. Click the play button or use the scroll to see his top connections season by season.

Here is a look at the top players that assisted LeBron throughout his career. Use the dropdown to sort by season.

LeBron’s Go-To Scoring Moves

While Kareem dominated opponents with his signature Skyhook, LeBron’s scoring has come from all over the court on a variety of shot types: from thunderous dunks to fadeaway jumpers.

He even took a few hook shots of his own.

Jump shots have been a staple of LeBron’s scoring, accounting for at least 30% of his offense in all but one season.

This season, layups have surpassed jumpers as the biggest slice of his scoring pie, which can be seen here, and split between home and road games.

A year-by-year breakdown of every shot type from LeBron by total points scored.

A Three-Level Scorer

When LeBron passes Kareem in scoring, he’ll do so while making nearly 1,800 fewer baskets. LeBron makes up the gap with an additional 1,300+ free throws and over 2,200 3-pointers (compared to Kareem’s 1).

Track how LeBron’s scoring on 2s, 3s and free throws has evolved over the course of his career.

A season-by-season look at LeBron’s scoring splits between free throws, 2-pointers and 3-pointers based on percentage of total points. LeBron’s percentage of points on 3-pointers went from 11% in his rookie season to 28% last season in L.A.

A season-by-season look at LeBron’s scoring splits, using total points scored rather than percentages. LeBron (2,478 points in 2005-06) and Kareem (2,822 points in 1971-72) both posted their highest single-season points total in their third season.

LeBron’s scoring splits divided by team, looking at percentage of points scored.

LeBron’s scoring splits divided by team, looking at total points scored.