Not many would’ve predicted that the day LeBron James officially passed Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list per ESPN, he would be wearing a Los Angeles Lakers jersey. At some stage of their careers, the NBA’s top 4 all-time leading scorers (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James) played for the Lakers.
History was made at the Staples Center when James overtook Jordan to move into 4th place despite not being a natural shooter like Jordan was. It’s worth noting that James has never been viewed as a scorer but rather a facilitator by his teammates.
Before the Lakers hosted Denver Nuggets, veteran point guard Rajon Rondo said:
“He’s not really a scorer, he’s a facilitator. He’s a maestro himself. He’s an orchestrator. So, for him to be on that type of list, it’s just unbelievable. I would say he does whatever his team needs, honestly. He scores, he passes, he rebounds, he blocks.”
Many will want to use the argument that James needed more games to pass Jordan despite the fact that Jordan took 1 262 more shots in 118 fewer games than James. Another argument that can easily be debunked is that James has taken more three-pointers while Jordan took less when in reality all this tells us is that James continues to be more efficient than Jordan ever was with his shooting percentage being higher. The only category Jordan was better than James at is free throws.
LeBron overall shooting % = 50.4%
Jordan overall shooting % = 49.7%
LeBron 2 point % = 54.8%
Jordan 2 point % = 51%
LeBron 3 point % = 34.4%
Jordan 3 point % = 32.7%
LeBron free throw % = 73.7%
Jordan free throw % = 83.5%
Jordan’s career usage rate stands at 33.3% while James is at 31.5%.
LeBron James is also the only player in NBA history to be in the top 10 of both scoring and assisting.
This historic landmark is the latest chapter in the LeBron vs Jordan GOAT debate. End of the day, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but the one thing that can’t be denied are facts, in this case, statistics. Why? Because numbers don’t lie.