Betting Odds on How LeBron James Will Break the NBA Scoring Record

  • LeBron is only 422 points away from the all-time NBA scoring record
  • At his current scoring rate, he will set the record against the Milwaukee Bucks on February 9
  • Sportsbooks say he is most likely to set the record with a dunk or a layup
  • LeBron said in an interview that he never had a goal of setting the scoring record
LeBron James dunking
LeBron James will soon break the NBA all-time scoring record, and sportsbooks have odds on how it will go down. [Image: Flickr.com / Erik Drost]

Odds are LeBron breaks scoring record soon

LeBron James is on the verge of breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA scoring record, and the odds are he will do it in the next month.

LeBron is only 422 points behind “The Captain” despite being a self-proclaimed “pass-first” guy. Abdul-Jabbar set the record in April 1984 and built upon it until his retirement in 1989, where it has stood unscathed since.

he will break the record in 15 games

Based on LeBron’s season scoring average of 29.1 points per game, he will break the record in 15 games. Even if he misses time with injuries or load management, it seems impossible for him not to set the record in the remaining 41 games.

How will the record fall?

LeBron has been able to draw within striking distance of the record because of his durability. He spent the first 15 years of his career with the reputation of an iron man, and even as he has grown more brittle at 38 years old, he is still available just about as frequently as the other top superstars in the league.

the Bucks drafted Abdul-Jabbar (then Lew Alcindor) in 1969 and then traded him to the Lakers in 1975

If he lives up to his average and plays in all of the upcoming games, his 15th game from now will be in Los Angeles against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks on February 9. That would be rather fitting, as the Bucks drafted Abdul-Jabbar (then Lew Alcindor) in 1969 and then traded him to the Lakers in 1975.

There’s also a sense of poetic justice as Giannis is the consensus best player in the league, yet he has remained a firm admirer of LeBron and continually shown him respect.

On either side of the Bucks game is a home matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder and a road battle with the Golden State Warriors.

Sportsbooks are also taking bets on how LeBron will break the record, now that it is a foregone conclusion he will do so, barring a career-ending injury in the next few weeks. According to BetUS, he is equally likely to eclipse the 38,387-point mark on a layup or dunk (both +250). 

LeBron also has +300 odds of breaking the record with a three-point jumper, +400 with a two-point jump shot, and +450 with a free throw. Notably, he is attempting 15.6 two-point field goals, 6.7 threes, and 5.8 free throws per game. He is also shooting 60.2% on two-pointers, compared to 29.5% from beyond the arc and 75.6% at the charity stripe.

Historical significance

The day that LeBron sets the scoring record will be one of the most momentous occasions in basketball history. The Lakers’ star man spoke recently on how his impending achievement has snuck up on him.

the scoring record was never ever even thought of in my head”

“It wasn’t a goal of mine to [break the scoring record] when I entered the league,” LeBron said during an interview with ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “The scoring record was never ever even thought of in my head because I’ve always been a pass-first guy.” 

On December 14, 2021, Warriors guard Stephen Curry broke Ray Allen’s record for most three-pointers made in a career. Allen and then-third-place three-point shooter Reggie Miller (now fourth behind James Harden) attended the game in Madison Square Garden and embraced Curry during a pause in play after he made the shot.

Last year, another Warriors player, Draymond Green, said that if he had a game to play the day that LeBron was going to break the scoring record, he would call out of work.

LeBron already passed Lakers legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson in career assists earlier this season, moving him to sixth on the all-time list. Also assuming he continues to perform at his season average, he would finish the year by vaulting into fourth, behind only John Stockton, Jason Kidd, and Chris Paul.