LeBron James has surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, an impressive feat that any current player may never surpass. However, it’s possible that future players could potentially catch up to Kareem’s record with the help of advancements in sports science and longer careers. Extreme durability and consistent high-level performance are key factors for achieving such a record.
Kevin Durant is a strong candidate to climb the NBA’s all-time scoring list and potentially surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record, given his current 14th-place ranking with over 26,600 points. Although Durant missed an entire season due to injury, he remains one of the league’s most prolific scorers, currently averaging 29.7 points per game. Durant’s shooting ability and size should continue to enable him to score at a high level as he ages. The new scoring record holder, LeBron James has mentioned Durant as a potential future record-breaker.
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Luka Doncic is a rare talent who has consistently scored at an impressive rate throughout his young NBA career. He has never scored fewer than 1,500 points in a single season and has already accumulated over 8,500 points at just 23 years old. Doncic’s scoring ability is effortless, and he can shoot from any spot on the court without relying on exceptional speed or athleticism. This means that his offensive skills should age well and enable him to climb the scoring ladder. However, Doncic has expressed no desire to play as long as LeBron James, which could limit his chances of surpassing James’ record.
Giannis started his career slow in terms of scoring, but in the past six seasons, he has consistently scored no less than 26.9 points per game, which accounts for most of his 15,000-plus career points. Although he already holds the record for most points in Bucks history, he still has a long way to go to surpass the former Buck, Abdul-Jabbar. However, being just 28 years old, Antetokounmpo has many years of basketball left to play, and this could propel him up the all-time scoring chart. The determining factor will be how long he intends to continue playing. While he is not an exceptional shooter, he maintains peak physical condition, much like LeBron, and could possibly play at a high level for another ten years. Despite the Bucks losing to Heat in the Conference quarters, Giannis has played a massive role and will be one of the top players for seasons to come.
Tatum has been a dominant scorer in the NBA since he joined in 2017, and his scoring average has increased every season according to NBA stats. This season, he ranks fourth in the league in scoring and shows no signs of slowing down. Even if his average doesn’t increase next season, he will likely maintain a high production level for the foreseeable future. As a result, he could climb the all-time scoring list quickly if he consistently averages in the high 20s or low 30s for several seasons. Improving his efficiency could also aid him in this pursuit. Although Tatum has been an excellent scorer, he could improve his shot selection and shooting percentage even more efficiently.