Ever since its inception in 1946, the NBA has seen some of the most dominant scorers in basketball history. From Wilt Chamberlain to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, there have been quite a few scorers who completely revolutionised the game in their respective ways. In January 2020, LeBron James surpassed Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant on the NBA all-time scoring list, moving up to No. 3. But with 34,087 points to his name, the Lakers star has a long way to go before he could topple the No. 1 on the list.
So, who scored the most points in NBA history? Let's have a look at the top five highest-scorers in the game.
Since we are looking at the top five strictly based on numbers, some of the best scorers in the game will be excluded, namely - Dirk Nowitzki (31,560) Wilt Chamberlain (31,419) and Shaquille O'Neal (28,596).
If you ever searched 'Who scored the most points in an NBA game?', Wilt Chamberlain should be a familiar name. A Philadelphia legend, Chamberlain remains the only player in the NBA to score 100 points in one game.
O'Neal was key for Lakers' dominance in the post-Jordan era while Dirk Nowitzki helped Mavericks win their only NBA championship in 2011.
Michael Jordan kicks off the list with 32,292 points to his name. Arguably amongst the top-three greatest players of all time, the Chicago Bulls legend won an astonishing two three-peats in Chicago. Jordan was highly influential in taking the NBA to the global audience and the Charlotte Hornets owner still remains one of the most recognised faced around the world.
With 33,643 points, Kobe Bryant has cemented his name as a basketball legend. The 41-year-old, who tragically passed away earlier this year, will always be hailed for his 'Mamba Mentality'. With Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal in their roster, Lakers dominated the early 2000s. Once Shaq moved on from the Lakers, Bryant took the centre stage at LA, helping them win two more championships, making him a five-time NBA champion.
Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother 💪🏾 #33644— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 26, 2020
Astonishingly, Kobe Bryant's last message on social media remains his tweet to congratulate LeBron James on surpassing him. The only active player on the list, LeBron James is on a mission to bring the first NBA championship to LA since Kobe did it in 2010. A three-time champion, James has made his name in the NBA for his exquisite vision and impressive range. If he manages to maintain his peak fitness, LeBron James could well become the highest-scoring player in the NBA.
The Mailman remains second on the list with 36,928 points. Arguably the best player to play for Utah Jazz, Malone is the only one on this list to be without a championship. The two-time MVP is, however, the King of Stats. He is the highest scorer of free throws with 9787 points at a completion rate of 0.72.
Six-time NBA champion, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar comfortably tops the list with 38,387 points to his name. A six-time NBA MVP and a two-time NBA Finals MVP, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is widely considered to be the best player in Milwaukee Bucks history. He could well be one of the most important players to usher the NBA into it its new era before the likes of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant came into the fray.