- LeBron James scored 26 points during the Lakers’ Wednesday win over the San Antonio Spurs.
- James has now scored at least 10 points in 1,000 consecutive regular season games.
- If he averages 20.0 points per game, he will become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer sometime during the 2022-23 NBA season, provided he stays healthy.
LeBron James celebrated his 36th birthday with the Los Angeles Lakers having a scheduled game against the San Antonio Spurs. So since he was on the hardcourt during his special day, James made the most out of it as he has done in seven previous birthday games played.
Not only did James’ team get the “W” to improve to 3-2 on the young season, James also posted an impressive 26-5-8-1-1 statline which isn’t the normal numbers for a guy who is playing in his 18th NBA season. But that’s not the catch. By scoring 26 points on Wednesday night, LBJ became the first player in NBA history to score at least 10 points in 1,000 consecutive regular season games. If you translate that to an 82-game season, that’s 12 plus seasons of scoring at least 10 points every single night. Impressive, huh?
A Record Fit For a King
A scoring streak fit for a king. Congrats on making history, @KingJames ?? pic.twitter.com/NPRtaiG93Q
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 31, 2020
Entering the L.A. Lakers’ game against the Spurs, LeBron James had scored in double figures in 999 consecutive games played. On Wednesday, he became the first player to score at least 10 points in 1,000 straight games and he did so on his 36th birthday. Getting to the 1,000-game plateau was a record but even before that, James already held the longest double-digit scoring streak in NBA history. Now that’s royalty at its finest.
The last time that LeBron failed to score in double figures was on January 5, 2007 when he finished with only eight points in a game against the Milwaukee Bucks. Since then, James hasn’t scored in single digits during an NBA game. On March 30, 2018, he passed Michael Jordan for the record with his 867th straight double figures scoring game. He’s been adding to that record during the last two years and it’s impressive that he is still padding that record at the age of 36.
James also went to Wednesday’s game averaging 32.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game in seven games played on his birthday. His birthday scoring average is the highest by any player with a minimum of five such games. LBJ scored “only” 26 points against the Spurs but he also added 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal and1 block in 35 minutes of playing time.Bron has led his team in scoring in all of his birthday games, including Wednesday’s edition. No other player in the history of the NBA has ever led his team in scoring in as many birthday games played.
Still Dominating at 36
LeBron James turns 36 today ?
◽ 4x NBA Champion
◽ 4x Finals MVP
◽ 4x NBA MVP
◽ 13x All-NBA First Team
Year 18 and still dominating ? @KingJames pic.twitter.com/Je2dTwtF4w
— ESPN (@espn) December 30, 2020
Prior to Wednesday’s game against the Spurs, James had scored more points than any player in the history of the league before the age of 36 with 34,322. To show you how far atop the mountain he is, Kobe Bryant and Wilt Chamberlain- who are no. 2 and no. 3 on that particular list, scored 31,700 and 30,355 points, respectively. To think that Kobe also started playing at the age of 18 while Wilt played in an era where he and Bill Russell towered above the rest of the league.
James ranks 8th in total minutes played in the regular season and first all-time in the playoffs. If you add both, only Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul Jabbar have played more NBA minutes than LeBron James. If LeBron James maintains a scoring average of 20.0 points per game, he will catch the Mailman in 103 games and Kareem in 203 games for the NBA’s all-time scoring record. If he stays healthy, he could catch Malone next season and Kareem during the 2022-23 season.
People can say anything they want about where LeBron James stands in the GOAT debate. However, it’s undeniable that no one is even close to accomplishing what he has in 18 years and at the age of 36. His critics continue to argue that his 4-6 Finals record disqualifies him from the GOAT debate. But when you take a look at longevity and consistent excellence, there’s no denying no one comes close to LBJ.