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Top 10 Scorers in NBA History of all time: Best NBA Scorers Ever

Publish Date:03/03/2024
Fact checked by: Allan Howe

What’s the most important skill in the NBA? Is it passing? Rebounding? How about defensive play?

Many would say scoring is the most important thing a player can do for his team. After all, unless you put the ball in the basket, you can’t win. No team has ever won a game with zero points, you know what I mean?

durant & lebron

NBA All-Time Point Scoring Leaders

The list of all-time NBA scorers is a litany of hoops legends,

Player Points
LeBron James 39,531 points (through Jan. 5, 2024)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 38,387 points
Karl Malone 36,928 points
Kobe Bryant 33,643 points
Michael Jordan 32,292 points
Dirk Nowitzki 31,560 points
Wilt Chamberlain 31,419 points
Shaquille O'Neal 28,596 points
Moses Malone 27,409 points
Elvin Hayes 27,313 points

Recognize those ballers? We suspect you do. Every one of those players is in the Basketball Hall of Fame, except for LeBron, who is still shooting the rock as of the 2023-24 NBA season. Hail, King James!

The list of the top all-time NBA scorers is a testament to the greatness and longevity of players who have graced the hardwood over the decades. These scoring giants have left an indelible mark on the sport, captivating fans with their skill, finesse, and ability to put the ball in the basket. SWISH!

LeBron James: The Versatile Scoring Maestro

James has showcased his versatility and scoring acumen. With a combination of power, finesse, and basketball IQ, LeBron is approaching 40,000 points. He passed Kareem Andul-Jabbar in February 2023.

Beyond scoring, LeBron's impact on the game extends to his leadership, playmaking, and versatility, making him one of the most well-rounded players in NBA history. Maybe even the greatest. Fans and experts are hotly debating whether James is better than Michael Jordan.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Skyhook Maestro

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was a towering figure in NBA history, literally.

The skyhook maestro's scoring prowess was unparalleled in his era, with an astounding 38,387 points accumulated over his remarkable career.

Abdul-Jabbar's longevity and consistency allowed him to dominate the league for two decades, earning him six MVP awards and six NBA championships, solidifying his status as one of the greatest players of all time.

Karl Malone: The Mailman's Deliveries

Hot on Abdul-Jabbar's heels is Karl Malone, the "Mailman," who delivered points in bunches throughout his career. Malone's relentless work ethic and scoring ability translated into 36,928 points, making him the third-highest scorer in NBA history.

While an NBA championship eluded him, Malone's impact on the Utah Jazz and his pairing with John Stockton in the pick-and-roll remains a memorable chapter in basketball lore.

Kobe Bryant: The Black Mamba's Legacy

Kobe Bryant, the "Black Mamba," left an enduring legacy as a scorer and competitor.

His footwork, skill, and killer instinct propelled him to 33,643 points, securing the fourth spot on the all-time scoring list.

Bryant's dedication to his craft, highlighted by his relentless work ethic, inspired a generation of players, earning him five NBA championships and numerous accolades during his illustrious career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Michael Jordan: The Greatest of All Time

Michael Jordan, often regarded as the greatest player in NBA history, stands at fifth on the all-time scoring list with 32,292 points.

Jordan's impact extended beyond his scoring ability, as he elevated the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships with his clutch performances, tenacious defense, and unparalleled competitiveness.

His influence on the global popularity of basketball is immeasurable.

Dirk Nowitzki: The International Trailblazer

Dirk Nowitzki, a revolutionary figure for international players, sits at the sixth spot among NBA scorers with 31,560 points. The seven-footer from Germany transformed the power forward position with his shooting prowess and versatility.

Nowitzki's impact reached its zenith when he led the Dallas Mavericks to an NBA championship in 2011, solidifying his place as one of the greatest forwards in the history of the game.

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Wilt Chamberlain: Dominance in an Earlier Era

Wilt Chamberlain, a dominant force in an earlier era, ranks seventh with 31,419 points. Known for his incredible scoring and rebounding feats, including the iconic 100-point game, Chamberlain's impact on the game's record books is unmatched.

His physical prowess and statistical achievements are a testament to his dominance during the 1960s.

Shaquille O'Neal: The Dominant Big Man

Shaquille O'Neal, the imposing center with a blend of power and agility, occupies the eighth spot with 28,596 points.

O'Neal's dunking prowess and inside presence made him a force to be reckoned with, earning him four NBA championships and three Finals MVP awards during his illustrious career.

Moses Malone: Dominance in the 1980s

Moses Malone, a dominant center in the 1980s, ranks ninth with 27,409 points. Malone's relentless rebounding and scoring in the paint earned him three MVP awards and an NBA championship, showcasing his impact on both ends of the floor.

Elvin Hayes: Scoring Prowess in the 1970s

Elvin Hayes rounds out the top 10 with 27,313 points, displaying his scoring prowess during the 1970s. Hayes' versatile game and longevity in the league earned him recognition as one of the premier forwards of his era.

A Legacy Beyond Points

What do these ballers have in common? These players not only accumulated points but also left an enduring legacy that continues to shape the narrative of professional basketball. Each name on the list represents a chapter in the rich tapestry of the NBA, contributing to the league's evolution and global appeal.

To keep yourself updated on the newest happenings, be sure to check out our Betting News Section.

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