LeBron James joined Kobe Bryant and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in NBA history with multiple 40-point games in their 16th season or later, according to ESPN Stats and Info.
The 33-year-old has gotten off to a relatively slow start by his standards but has recently found a rhythm in his 16th season and first with the Los Angeles Lakers. On Nov. 14 against the Portland Trail Blazers, James recorded 44 points (13-of-19 shooting), 10 rebounds and 9 assists in 36 minutes.
And in his return against the Miami Heat just four days later, James recorded 51 points (19-of-31 shooting), 8 rebounds and 3 assists over 38 minutes.
With James’ latest performance, he also broke Bryant’s franchise record for most points against the Heat. He now has 12 career 50-point games, which broke a tie with Allen Iverson for sixth-most in NBA history.
Wilt Chamberlain (118 50-point games), Michael Jordan (31), Bryant (25), Elgin Baylor (17) and Rick Barry (14) rank ahead of James. Furthermore, he joins Jamal Crawford, Bernard King, Moses Malone and Chamberlain as players with 50-point games for three different franchises.
In just the first 16 games of the 2018-19 NBA season, James has made and will continue to make history as a member of the Lakers.
He recently passed Dirk Nowitzki (31,187 points) and Wilt Chamberlain (31,419) for sixth and fifth respectively on the NBA all-time scoring list.
If James is able to remain healthy, he will not only pass Michael Jordan (32,292) for third later this season but give himself a legitimate opportunity to overtake Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) as the NBA’s leading scorer by the time he retires.
With James joining a select group of two former Lakers, he continues to add to his legacy as one of the best players of all time.