NBA: All-Time Scoring Leaders, by points
PlayerNumber of points scored
LeBron James39,704
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar38,387
Karl Malone36,928
Kobe Bryant33,643
Michael Jordan32,292
Dirk Nowitzki31,560
Wilt Chamberlain31,419
Shaquille ONeal28,596
Carmelo Anthony28,289
Kevin Durant28,003
Moses Malone27,409
Elvin Hayes27,313
Hakeem Olajuwon26,946
Oscar Robertson26,710
Dominique Wilkins26,668
Tim Duncan26,496
Paul Pierce26,397
John Havlicek26,395
Kevin Garnett26,071
Vince Carter25,728
Alex English25,613
James Harden25,364
Reggie Miller25,279
Jerry West25,192
Russell Westbrook24,955
Patrick Ewing24,815
Ray Allen24,505
Allen Iverson24,368
Charles Barkley23,757
Robert Parish23,334
  • Region: United States, Canada
  • Time period: 1946 to 2024
  • Published: Jan 2024

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Apr 15, 2024 | Published by: Statistico

LeBron James Leads in Scoring

LeBron James tops the list with a remarkable 39,704 points, surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's 38,387 points. His achievement sets a new benchmark in NBA history for scoring prowess.

Exclusive 30k Club Members

Only five players have scored over 30,000 points: LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, and Michael Jordan. This elite group underscores the rarity and significance of reaching such a milestone in the NBA.

Representation Across Eras

The list showcases generational talents, with players like Wilt Chamberlain (31,419 points) from the 1960s to contemporary stars like Kevin Durant (28,003 points) and James Harden (25,364 points). It highlights the evolving nature of the game and the enduring legacy of its top scorers.

Top Scorers by Position

The diversity in player positions among the top scorers is notable, with centers (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), forwards (LeBron James), and guards (Kobe Bryant) all represented. This variety illustrates the changing dynamics of basketball, where scoring is no longer confined to a specific position.

Tight Clusters Among Legends

Notable are the tight scoring gaps between some of the legends, for instance, only 21 points separate John Havlicek (26,395 points) and Paul Pierce (26,397 points). Such narrow margins highlight the competitive nature of the NBA's scoring leaderboard.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who tops the list for scoring prowess in NBA history?

The list is topped by LeBron James with a record of 39,704 points.

How many players have scored over 30,000 points in NBA history?

Only five players, including LeBron James and Michael Jordan, have scored over 30,000 points.

What is the significance of the diversity in player positions among the top scorers?

The diversity, with centers, forwards, and guards represented, illustrates how scoring in basketball is not confined to a specific position.

Terms and Definitions

NBA stands for National Basketball Association, a professional basketball league in North America, regarded as the premier men's professional basketball league in the world.

In the context of basketball, scoring refers to the action of earning points during a game by getting the ball through the opposing team's hoop. This can be done in several ways—with free throws, two-pointers, and three-pointers—each earning the respective number of points.

All-Time is a term used to refer to the total accumulation or statistics from the beginning of a particular event or institution to the current or specified point in time. In this context, it refers to the cumulative scoring record in the history of the NBA.

A list refers to an organized enumeration of data, records, or information. In basketball terms, a list would indicate a structured and sequential ranking of teams or players based on specific metrics such as scores, wins, losses, points, or other statistical data.

A player refers to an individual who participates in the game of basketball. In the NBA, a player is part of a team and competes against other players in official games.

Points are a unit of measurement in scoring in basketball. They are awarded for successful attempts at getting the ball through the opposing team's basket. The number of points awarded per successful attempt varies depending on the type of shot.

A scoring leader in basketball is a player who has scored the most points in a specific time period or over their career. In an 'all-time scoring list,' scoring leaders would be those players who have scored the most total points in NBA history.

A game, in the context of the NBA, refers to an organized event in which two teams compete against each other. Each game contributes to a team's overall record for a season and can impact their standings within the league.

A free throw is a type of shot in basketball where a player shoots from behind the free-throw line, a horizontal line 15 feet from the basket. It is usually awarded after a foul, with each successful free throw worth one point.

An NBA season refers to the time period during which the league's official games are played. This usually spans from late October or early November to April, followed by the postseason games, also known as playoffs. The sum of a player's points in a season contributes to their career total, affecting their rank on the all-time scoring list.
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