LeBron passes Jordan: Can he reach the top and who's above him?

After LeBron James leapfrogged Michael Jordan on the all-time NBA points list, we look at who he still needs to catch to top the pile.

LeBron James is below only Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the all-time NBA points list.   -  Getty Images

LeBron James added weight to the argument that he, and not Michael Jordan, is the greatest basketball player of all time Wednesday.

The four-time NBA MVP surpassed Jordan for career points as he tallied 31 for Lakers in its loss to the Nuggets. While it looks poised to be a disappointing first season in LA for James, who appears in line to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2005, he can console himself with another outstanding individual achievement.

READ | NBA Wrap: LeBron passes Jordan, Heat into playoff spot

However, while Jordan is now in his rear-view mirror in terms of points, James still has three more NBA greats to surpass to become the league's all-time leading scorer, and that may be a tall task for the 34-year-old.

James now has 32,311 points to his name and is averaging 27.1 points per game in his career. Based on those figures, we look at how long it would take James to overhaul the top three if he continues at his current pace.

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3. Kobe Bryant — 33,643 points

The Lakers' struggles have left some fans to ironically chant the name of the franchise legend, who is above James as a player in the eyes of some LA supporters. However, he is unlikely to be above him for much longer, and James is poised to surpass him on the points list next season. If he maintains his points-per-game average, LeBron will reach the mark set by Bryant in around 49 games.


2. Karl Malone — 36,928 points

The two-time MVP does not have the titles James has, having been thwarted by Jordan during his prime years with the Utah Jazz. However, throughout his career, Malone — known as the Mailman — consistently delivered the goods. He is second on the all-time list and James will likely need two further seasons at his peak to catch him, which he would do in about 170 games at his current pace.

1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — 38,387 points

James is unlikely to have the same success Abdul-Jabbar did in Los Angeles, where he won five of his six NBA titles with the Lakers, and he will need to go some way to catch the league's all-time leading point scorer, who amassed his mammoth total over 20 seasons as a professional. At his current rate it will take James around 224 games to match him, so three more seasons of dominance could do the job.

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