LA Great Thinks LeBron James Will Keep Scoring Record For Generations

Ahead of LeBron James’ 21st NBA season, a number of questions loom, but the most significant one is how much longer he’ll be on the court. 

James is one year away from tying the NBA record set by Vince Carter for most seasons played (22), but also set the all-time scoring record last season.

To that end, fellow Los Angeles Lakers great Shaquille O’Neal had this to say about the situation, per ESPN: 

The beginning of this quote, suggesting that “he wants to take [the record],” implies that O’Neal may have some information regarding LeBron’s career plan. 

To suggest that he would be able to “take” the record to a point in which he wouldn’t be broken for the next 60-70 years, means that James plans to play long enough for that to be possible. 

While he theoretically could average top-of-the-league scoring numbers again in Year 21, his aggregate total of points given the amount of games he’s bound to miss due to injury and rest probably wouldn’t be high enough to create such a large margin in the record books.

And, separate from LeBron’s career-related decisions, even if he were to retire today, it’s highly unlikely anyone breaks his record for decades. 

Offensive inflation, as teams score more and more points every year due to the increased emphasis on the 3-point shot as well as an uptick in pace will surely lead to higher scoring averages for certain players, but the probability that those same players play as long as James at the required level to maintain pace with his record is low. 

For this reason, it’s no surprise that Kareem’s record, which LeBron just broke, lasted from 1989 to 2023. In order for anyone to eclipse James’ record, you’d have to be on the lookout for someone putting up production similar to LeBron, for as long as LeBron has (likely longer, accounting for this season and any future ones he plays). 

Good luck with that. 

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