After 726 career games, LeBron James has joined an elite club of basketball players who have scored 20,000 points in their NBA career.
James needed just 18 points going into his game against the Golden State Warrios to hit the 20,000 point milestone. LeBron hit the mark in the second quarter – making “The King” the youngest player to reach 20,000, but only the 8th fastest player to ever do so (more on that a little later).
(We’re going to brag a little here: Five years ago, Interbasket predicted LeBron would hit the 20,000 point mark at 730 games – not bad.)
First things first, let’s give LBJ the props. At just 28 years and 17 days, Lebron took the mantle of “Youngest NBA player to 20,000 points” by accomplishing that feat 470 days before Kobe Bryant, the previous “youngest.”
Youngest NBA Players to 20,000
- LeBron James 28 years, 17 days
- Kobe Bryant 29 years, 122 days.
- Wilt Chamberlain 29 years, 134 days old
- Michael Jordan 29 years, 326 days old.
- Oscar Robertson 30 years and 97 days old
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 30 years, 342 days
Removing Age from the Scoring Milestones
Age is great and it’s a nice-looking accomplishment, but as we discussed here and here before – age-related records sound more impressive than they actually are. No matter how you look at it, using age is not a fair comparison.
Players enter the league at different ages – especially when there are minimum age requirements imposed by the league. NBA schedules impact when a player will reach their plateau – meaning if LeBron played Golden State on Tuesday instead of Wednesday night, the record would be different, and let’s not forget about how injuries and shortened seasons affect records based off age; they’re rife with caveats.
If you’re looking for the NBA players that were the “fastest to 20,000 points,” then we need a measure that’s fair. And using games played works well for true apples-to-apples comparisons. In that list, LeBron is 8th all-time, after Jerry West (#7 at 720 games) and beating Shaquille O’Neal by one game (#9 at 727 games).
Including LeBron James, here’s a list of top ten NBA players quickest to 20,000 points.
|Michael Jordan||620||January 08 1993||9th|
|Allen Iverson||713||January 23 2007||11th|
|LeBron James||726||Jan 15 2013||10th|
|Shaquille O’Neal||727||Mar 20 2003||11th|
|George Gervin||747||Janu 11 1986||10th|
Other notable players that have hit the 20,000 plateau include Kevin Garnett (979), Patrick Ewing (845), Dirk Nowitzki (876), Charles Barkley (858), Clyde Drexler (967), and Reggie Miller (1021). See the full list of all 38 players that have reached 20,000 and how many games it took them.