Will LeBron Overtake Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's Record? Here's How James Can Do It

LeBron James moved up to fourth in the all-time NBA's scorers list on Wednesday night, surpassing Michael Jordan in the process.

The 34-year-old entered the game against the Denver Nuggets trailing Jordan by 12 points and passed the Chicago Bulls legend with a layup at the 5:38 mark in the second quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers' 115-99 defeat.

LeBron finished with 31 points, bringing his career tally in the NBA to 32,311. Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone and Kobe Bryant, who retired with 38,387, 36,928 and 33,643 points to their names respectively, have scored more.

Historic night for basketball royalty. @KingJames passes His Airness as the fourth-leading scorer of all-time. pic.twitter.com/f1WsVjOBvH

— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 7, 2019

Including the 46 games he's played this season, James averages 27.1 points per game in his career and, with the exception of his rookie season, he's never averaged fewer than 25 points per game.

Assuming he continues to score at the same pace, LeBron will overtake Bryant in just over 49 games. Considering there are 17 games left in the current campaign that means he could surpass Kobe by mid-December.

Reaching Malone and Abdul-Jabbar, however, will test James' endurance and physique to the limit. At the current scoring average, LeBron needs around 170 regular season games to catch The Mailman.

Providing he stays injury free, he could move into second place in the all-time scoring list by the end of his third season with the Lakers.

Throughout his career, James' almost unblemished injury record has allowed him to play an average of 74.3 games per regular season. However, Father Time might be the only opponent LeBron fails to beat.

The 17 games he missed this season with a groin injury were the longest injury layoff of his career and even if he featured in all the Lakers' remaining games, he would end the season with 63 appearances—the fewest since the lockout-shortened 2011-12 campaign, when he played 62 times.

Given LeBron will turn 35 at the end of December, his workload will have to be managed very carefully in future.

That makes surpassing Abdul-Jabbar's record extremely difficult. At the current scoring average, LeBron requires another 224 regular season games to reach Abdul-Jabbar's record. Considering James' average of 74.3 games per season, that translates into three full regular seasons. That means he would to play until he's 38.

Aside from points, LeBron has another couple of milestones in his sight. He averages 7.2 assists per game and it should take him just over 53 games to overtake Gary Payton in ninth place in the all-time assists leaders.

James sits 16th in the all-time list of steals leaders and would require an additional 113.7 games to surpass Alvin Robertson in ninth place. Chris Paul currently rounds up the top 10 and is 161 steals ahead of LeBron, but the Houston Rockets point guard is expected to continue playing, therefore James would effectively have to reach Robertson to be in the top 10.

With 6,911 points, the three-time NBA champion is already by some distance the all-time scoring leaders in the playoffs and needs just 13 games to overtake Tim Duncan's all-time record of 251 playoff games. For that, however, the Lakers' star will have to wait at least another 12 months.

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James, #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center on March 6 in Los Angeles, California. Robert Laberge/Getty Images