What the Lebron’s All-Time Scoring Title Means for the GOAT Debate


Sam Jensen, Perspectives Editor '23

Throughout LeBron James’s entire career, he has been disrespected and discredited as an all-time scorer in the game’s history. But now he must be respected by the media, fans, and players as he passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s “unbreakable” all-time scoring record on February 7th, finishing the night on the list with 38,390 points.

The tally to beat was Kareem’s 38,387 points which he accumulated after playing in 1560 games through 20 seasons.

Throughout LeBron’s career, he has been touted as a “lesser” scorer than other all-time greats like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Kareem, etc. LeBron has averaged 27.2 points over his 20 seasons and is currently averaging 30.2 points this season at the age of 38.

LeBron has also been punished for being labeled as a “playmaker” rather than a “scorer” media, and it is used to lessen other parts of his game when discussing the “GOAT” (Greatest of All Time) debate between him, Jordan, and Kareem.

Before owning the all-time scoring title, LeBron had many other pitfalls in his GOAT debate case, such as having four MVPS (Jordan has five and Kareem has six) and four Rings (Jordan and Kareem both have six). You cannot argue that LeBron has numbers-wise not achieved as much as greats like Kareem and Jordan, but by completing the most points scored in NBA history, he has now added another chip to the table when fans come together and discusses who the “GOAT” is.

No achievement will ever settle the debate between fans as each achievement or stat has a counterargument. For example, LeBron has the most points of all time, but you could say that because Michael Jordan has the highest point average with 30.1 points-per-game in a career, that he is still the greatest scorer statistically.

People will never settle the debate, but we can appreciate our favorite athletes trying to strive for that greatness and give them flowers when they get each step closer.