How LeBron James can become the NBA's scoring king

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LeBron James passed one of the league's most dominant big men ever on the NBA all-time scoring list on Thursday night.

And there's reason to believe he one day might pass another dominant big man at the top of the list someday.

It seems a little strange that LeBron could one day become the league's scoring king, given how much of an all-around player James has been.

In fact, LeBron has only led the league in scoring once, when he dropped 30.0 points per game for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2007-08.

Still, James passed Shaquille O'Neal in Thursday's loss at Chicago, becoming the seventh player on the list.

LeBron now has 28,599 points in his career, while Shaq finished his 19 seasons with 28,596.

Next up is Dirk Nowitzki, who recently passed the 30,000-point plateau. While Dirk is still adding to his career total as a member of the Dallas Mavericks, LeBron shouldn't have trouble passing the German next season.

From there, he'll need to pass Wilt Chamberlain (31,419 points), Michael Jordan (32,292), Kobe Bryant (33,643), Karl Malone (36,928) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387).

But how high can The King climb on the list?

As one NBA Redditor pointed out, LeBron can pass Kareem for the top spot all-time by averaging 23.9 points per game over the next five seasons without missing a game.

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But as the 32-year-old continues to age, playing all 82 games for the next five seasons is completely out of the question.

LeBron has averaged more than 2,000 points per season in his career, but it's more accurate going forward to look at his Cleveland years. These years have been more in the 1,850 range, when taking into account a few more games of points at the end of this season.

Let's take that down to 1,750, assuming he gets a little more rest over the next several years than he did over the last few.

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So, if LeBron finishes this year with 150 more points, he'll be sitting at 28,749.

To reach Kareem's total of 38,387 points, LeBron would need 9,638 more points. If we take our 1,750 figure, he could reach that in five-and-a-half seasons, which would take us about halfway through the 2022-23 season - right around LeBron's 38th birthday.

(Keep in mind that Kobe Bryant recently retired at age 37, although that was mostly because his body broke down over the past few seasons.)

It'll be a work in progress for LeBron to keep cutting down those ahead of him on this list, but it can be done.

We can be sure of one thing: It'll be fun to watch him try.

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