Will the NBA all-time scoring record be broken again?


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LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 29: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates his three pointer during a 104-96 win over the Indiana Pacers at Staples Center on November 29, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, February 7, during the third quarter of an NBA game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder, LeBron James surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA’s all-time scoring leader in the league’s rich history. Abdul-Jabbar retired in 1989 with 38,387 points, a record that stood for more than thirty years until Tuesday when LeBron scored 38 points, bringing his total to 38,390 points.

The previous record stood for over three decades and took LeBron twenty years in the league in order to beat it. With this being said, will the record ever be broken again? The answer to this question is unknown, but it most likely will. However, just like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record stood for so long, LeBron’s most likely will too. Although records are meant to be broken, I’m not sure that this one will be anytime soon.

Currently, the next closest active NBA player on the list is Kevin Durant with 26,684 points. Kevin Durant has been in the NBA since 2007, and he would likely need to play until the 2028 season at his current scoring pace in order to surpass LeBron’s record. Kevin Durant is considered a prolific scorer, yet it might be difficult even for him to break this record.

The new generation of the NBA is changing the game of basketball, and players like Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum, and Devin Booker are young players that are scoring and playing at an elite level. Luka Doncic is averaging 27.4 points throughout his career, and 33.4 this season. With this average, Luka Doncic would have to play seventeen seasons to score more than 38,390 points. Seventeen seasons is doable, but Doncic is only in his fifth season, and a lot can change in twelve years.

Traditionally, the average NBA player plays less than five seasons, one-fourth of the seasons that it took one of the best players ever to break the record. Playing twenty seasons is very rare. However, with the increased methods of treatment and recovery, it is only a matter of time before we see more and more players playing longer and longer in the NBA.

Records are meant to be broken, but that does not mean that it will be easy. Now that LeBron James has scored the most points ever, he might be able to consider himself the greatest basketball player of all-time. The future will tell if anyone else can surpass or even come close to this record. I believe that this record will stand for at least fifteen years, but because breaking the “unbreakable” records is all part of the beauty known as sports, I hope to see it broken again at some point in my lifetime.