Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored 63 percent of his record 38,387 points in a Lakers uniform. Now LeBron James is poised to break that record in the Lakers’ home arena.
James scored 27 points on 10-22 shooting in a road loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, bringing his career total to 38,352 points. His final points came on a layup with 12 seconds to do, with the Lakers trailing by seven.
Now the Lakers return home to the Crypto.com Arena where James has two shots to break the record at home. Tuesday, they host the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Thursday they’ll face Abdul-Jabbar’s first team, the Milwaukee Bucks. Both games will be broadcast on TNT.
Will James break it on Tuesday? He’s scored 36 or more points in nine of his 43 games this season, so statistically, that’s a 20.9 percent chance of breaking it Tuesday.
James’ lowest point total in consecutive games is 37, which happened Nov. 2 and Nov. 4 in L.A. James has turned it up since then, especially since turning 38 on December 30. Since then, he’s averaging 34.1 points on 51.9 percent shooting.
If you’re into conspiracy theories, you might expect James to intentionally just miss catching Kareem on Tuesday, for the benefit of ticket sales, TV ratings, and two extra days of LeBron retrospectives. You’ll know the fix is in if the NBA assigns Scott Foster to Tuesday’s game.
Within the week, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will no longer be the NBA’s all-time scoring leader. The only thing still in doubt is what day it happens.