Created on: January 18, 2013
LeBron James of the Miami Heat has already accomplished a great deal in his NBA career since joining the league at age 18. In some ways, it is hard to believe that he has already been in the National Basketball Association for ten years. He has been an All-Star Game MVP, a three-time league MVP, an eight-time All Star selection, a single-season scoring championship and the Rookie of the Year. More importantly, he and his teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were able to silence some of the critics when they won an NBA championship in 2012. Granted, this “super team” has promised to win multiple rings.
Now, James has added another personal accomplishment to his list of accolades. He is the youngest player to reach 20,000 points in his career. The previous holder of that record was Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers. LeBron was 28 years and 17 days when he reached 20,000, while Bryant was 29 years and 122 days when he reached that mark. While Kobe has more rings than LeBron, there may come a point where James eclipses everyone and walks away from the NBA with the highest amount of career points. However, that record is still many years away.
It will be interesting to follow the career of LeBron James, particularly from the standpoint of personal records. In theory athletes are primarily concerned with titles, but there is undoubtedly some desire to reach personal plateaus as well. Basketball does not pay as much attention to records as other leagues, such as Major League Baseball. However, they are still tracked and they still matter to players. If James were to play another 10 years in the league, he might finish as the all-time leading scorer. That record is currently held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who finished with 38,387 points before retiring.
Granted, many things could happen between now and then. James could get hurt and miss extensive playing time. Or he might decide to walk away from the game before he goes into an obvious decline. Some athletes recognize that they should not hang on too long. It is also interesting to note that James has over 5,000 assists in his career. Given LeBron’s size, it would be unique for him to finish as the all-time leading scorer in addition to having 10,000 assists. As his career progresses, he may actually pass more than try to score.
James will obviously say that championships are his concern, but he is undoubtedly aware of his personal accomplishments.
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