We all know that LeBron James is one of the greatest players in NBA history. But where does he rank when it comes to points scored? Check out our list of the top 10 scorers in NBA history.
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Who has the most points in NBA history?
As of the 2019-2020 season, the player with the most points in NBA history is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He played for 20 seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers, racking up a total of 38,387 points. He is followed by Karl Malone, who played for 19 seasons with the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers and amassed 36,928 points. LeBron James is currently in third place with 34,241 points, and he is still actively playing.
Michael Jordan is widely considered to be the greatest basketball player of all time. He is also the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, with a total of 32,292 points. Jordan played in 15 NBA seasons, winning 6 championships with the Chicago Bulls. He was also a 14-time All-Star and a 10-time scoring champion.
Kobe Bryant, who played for the Los Angeles Lakers for 20 seasons, is widely considered one of the greatest players in NBA history. He is the league’s third all-time leading scorer, with 33,643 points, and was a 17-time All-Star and a five-time champion.
Karl Malone is an American retired professional basketball player. He played the power forward position and spent his first 18 seasons in the National Basketball Association with the Utah Jazz, forming a formidable duo with his teammate John Stockton. Malone also played briefly with the Los Angeles Lakers, with whom he won his only NBA championship in 2002. He was a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, a 14-time NBA All-Star, and an 11-time member of the All-NBA first team. His 36,928 career points scored rank second all time in NBA history behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and his 15,081 career rebounds are third.
In 1996 and 1999, Karl Malone was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. He is considered one of the best power forwards ever to play the game and was nicknamed “The Mailman”. Malone began his professional playing career out of Louisiana Tech University with Louisiana’s then-NBA franchise, the Jazz. He scored 21 points in his first game against the Houston Rockets rookie Hakeem Olajuwon as a 19-year-old rookie during the 1985–86 season.
LeBron James is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is widely considered to be one of the greatest basketball players in NBA history. James has won four NBA championships, four NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards, four NBA Finals MVP Awards, and two Olympic gold medals. He has also been selected to 17 NBA All-Star teams, 13 All-NBA teams, and six All-Defensive teams.James began his professional career with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003. He played there for seven seasons, winning his first championship in 2006. In 2010, he left the Cavaliers for the Miami Heat in a highly publicized move. After winning consecutive championships with the Heat in 2012 and 2013, James led the franchise to another championship in 2014. He then returned to Cleveland in 2014 and helped lead the Cavaliers to their first championship in 2016. In 2018, he signed with the Lakers.
Wilt Chamberlain, who played for the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers, is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer with 31,419 points.
Chamberlain began his NBA career in 1959 and quickly became one of the league’s most dominant players. He was a seven-time NBA All-Star and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player four times. Chamberlain also set numerous NBA records, including most points in a game (100), most points in a season (4,029) and most rebounds in a game (55).
In addition to being the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, Chamberlain is also second on the league’s all-time rebounding list with 23,924 rebounds.
Bill Russell is an American retired professional basketball player who played center for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1956 to 1969. A five-time NBA Most Valuable Player and a twelve-time All-Star, he was the centerpiece of the Celtics dynasty that won eleven NBA championships during his thirteen-year career. Russell and Henri Richard of the Montreal Canadiens are tied for the record of the most championships won by an athlete in a North American sports league with eleven. Russell led the University of San Francisco to two consecutive NCAA championships in 1955 and 1956, and he captained the gold-medal winning U.S. national basketball team at the 1956 Summer Olympics.
After graduating from high school in 1951, Russell attended USF. He married Rosemarie Wiley in 1957. The couple had three children: Courtney, Ashley, and Brian. Russell became acting head coach of the Celtics in 1966 after Red Auerbach retired, but stepped down after only one season to focus on his playing career.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who played for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers, is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer with 38,387 points. He is also the league’s all-time leading rebounder with 17,440.
Oscar Robertson, who played for the Cincinnati Royals and the Milwaukee Bucks, is the player with the most points in NBA history. As of the end of the 2019-2020 season, Robertson has a total of 26,710 points.
Dirk Nowitzki is a German professional basketball player for the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is a 14-time All-Star and the only player in NBA history to play for a team for 21 seasons. He is also one of seven players who have played for only one NBA team his entire career. Nowitzki was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks with the ninth overall pick in the 1998 NBA draft and was traded to the Mavericks on draft night. He quickly became their franchise player and featured alongside Steve Nash in what many considered one of the best offenses of all time. After a couple of first-round exits from the playoffs, Nowitzki led Dallas to their first ever NBA Finals appearance in 2006 where they were swept by the Miami Heat.
Despite this disappointment, Nowitzki was named NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) for that season. The Mavericks made it back to the Finals in 2011 where they finally defeated LeBron James and the Heat to win their first NBA Championship. Nowitzki was again named Finals MVP, making him just the sixth player in history to win both MVP awards in the same season. He is also one of only three players to win an MVP award and a Finals MVP award with the same team. In spite of all his individual success, Nowitzki has always been praised for his team-first attitude and is considered one of the best European players of all time.