Amidst a disappointing loss at the hands of the Sacramento Kings, one positive note emerged as LeBron James went for 33 points. With those buckets, LeBron passed historic greats Larry Bird and Gary Payton on the all-time scoring list to move up to 29th with 21,819 points in his 11 year career.
This may come as a surprise to many fans as LeBron is only 28 years old. However, James has been perhaps the most durable superstar in league history. He’s been able to consistently get his points night in and night out over the course of the 11 seasons he’s been in the National Basketball Association.
So far, LeBron has 794 games played on his resume and has averaged 27.5 points per game.
Bird played 897 games and averaged 24.5, and Payton played 1,335 games with an average of 16.3 points per game.
A reason LeBron was able to catch them so quickly was his ability to shoot the three ball. He’s cashed in on 1,059 threes and 5,100 free throws so far, while Bird only hit 649 threes and 3,960 free throws and Gary Payton connected on 1,132 threes and 3,265 free throws (in 1,335 games). LeBron’s ability to not only get easy buckets, but also hit jump shots and get to the free throw line have him flying up the scoring charts.
Next on the horizon for LeBron are Clyde Drexler (22,195 points) and active member of the Dallas Mavericks Vince Carter (22,532 points). While catching Carter will be difficult with him still a member of the league, James should be knocking on another member of the U.S.’s dream team before you know it this season as he continues to battle on the Heat’s quest for a three peat.