LeBron James Passes Childhood Hero Allen Iverson For 22nd On All-Time Scoring List

Allen Iverson, LeBron James
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LeBron James has bettered one of his childhood heroes; just under 8,000 more points to catch the other. With two quick baskets in the opening minutes of his team’s 101-83 win over the New York Knicks on Sunday, the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar usurped future Hall-of-Famer Allen Iverson for 22nd on the all-time scoring list.

James notched the 24,369th point of his career on a layup approximately 90 seconds after tip-off of today’s game at Madison Square Garden. The former Philadelphia 76ers superstar finished his NBA playing days in 2010 having scored 24,368 points – over 6,400 more than any other player standing six-feet or smaller.

Like so many players of his generation, James has expressed frequent admiration for Iverson throughout his career. Before playing the 2013-2014 season-opener against the Sixers, the four-time MVP bestowed lavish praise on the man he called his “second-favorite player growing up” behind Michael Jordan.


“Pound-for-pound, probably the greatest player who ever played,” James said of Iverson, who will retire in a Sixers pregame ceremony ahead of Wednesday’s home opener against the defending champion Heat.


“I watch Jordan more than anybody for sure,” James said in ESPN The Magazine’s NBA Preview Issue. “But I’ll watch tapes of A.I., too. I don’t take anything from A.I.. Well, I do — his will. They say he was 6 feet, but A.I. was like 5-10½. Do we even want to say 160? 170 [pounds]? Do we even want to give him that much weight? And he played like a 6-8 2-guard. He was one of the greatest finishers we’ve ever seen. You could never question his heart. Ever. He gave it his all. A.I. was like my second-favorite player growing up, after MJ.”

Obviously, this isn’t an achievement LeBron will take for granted.

“It’s very, very humbling and it’s an honor to just be named with some of the greats that I watched growing up,” he told ESPN of passing the 2001 MVP.

Iverson seemed proud of his pupil, too:

James needed 889 games to pass Iverson on the scoring list, doing so over 12 and a half seasons. “The Answer” totaled his esteemed mark in 14 seasons and 914 career games.

After retiring in 2010 following a brief reunion with Philadelphia, Iverson is eligible for Hall-of-Fame induction next year. Though we’re not as impressed with A.I.’s playing credentials as many others, that resume coupled with his lasting cultural imprint on the game should make him a relative shoo-in for Springfield.

Next up on the scoring list for LeBron: former Miami Heat teammate and perpetual Cavs free agent target Ray Allen at 24,505. Should James maintain his current scoring rate, he’ll pass basketball’s three-point king next Tuesday versus the Boston Celtics.