By any rational description, LeBron James is one of the most accomplished players in NBA history. At the age of 36, James is defying any semblance of a normal aging curve by operating as arguably the best player in the league and, as his career continues, the legendary Los Angeles Lakers forward will continue to make a dent in history through the record books.
On Thursday evening, James added to his profile by becoming only the third player ever to reach 35,000 career points and, for good measure, he did it faster than anyone else.
With this free throw, LeBron James becomes the 3rd player in NBA history to reach 35,000 career points, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone!
Watch on TNT pic.twitter.com/UWaz1fnqFn
— NBA (@NBA) February 19, 2021
Welcome to the 35k club, @KingJames 🔥
— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) February 19, 2021
James needed 15 points against the Nets on Thursday to reach the milestone and, fittingly, he did so before halftime. With no signs of slowing down, he could surpass Karl Malone for No. 2 on the all-time scoring list by the end of the 2021-22 campaign.
In fact, James is on a more than reasonable pace, given his unbelievable consistency, to reach the No. 1 spot currently occupied by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
After reaching 35,000 points tonight, if LeBron James stays healthy and averages 25 points per game moving forward (he’s just over that last year & this), he is on pace to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in roughly 130 games — which would likely be sometime early in the 2022-23 season.
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) February 19, 2021
Nothing should be taken for granted, especially for a 36-year-old. As such, it would be wise to recognize the brilliance of James’ career as it currently stands, even while acknowledging his already ridiculous numbers will continue to grow. A national audience was able to watch James check yet another box on Thursday, and he might even be the MVP of the league in his 18th season.