Did LeBron pass Kareem in points? Not yet, but he's closing in. Other Lakers in NBA's top 25.
The Los Angeles Lakers are tied with the Boston Celtics for the most NBA championships – a combined 34 titles between the two franchises – so it's only right that the list of the game's all-time scoring leaders is filled with Purple and Gold.
The top four scorers in the league's history all played for Los Angeles for part of their career, if not all. Eight of the top 25 are Lakers, and one legend is on the move to the top.
Lebron James is closing in on the No. 1 spot currently held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a record he's held for 39-years. James is less than 300 points away from taking the crown. While we countdown the days until James passes Abdul-Jabbar, lets look back at all the scoring greats that came before him in Los Angeles.
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NBA POINTS TITLE: Stats, fun facts to know as LeBron James chases down Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Here's the Lakers all-time points leaders in the top 25, from Kobe Bryant to Jerry West.
Ranking: No. 1
Total games: 1,560
Total points: 38,387
Fun fact: "The Captain" spent six seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks, where he had a career-high 55 points against the Boston Celtics on December 10, 1971. But his highest scoring game as a Laker came on November 26, 1975 against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Although James looks poised to pass Abdul-Jabbar as the scoring leader, Abdul-Jabbar is the all-time leader in minutes played (57,446) and field goals made (15,837).
Ranking: No. 2
Total games: 1,405
Total points: 38,230
Fun fact: King James is will on his way to surpassing Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA scoring King. He dropped a career-best 61 points against the Charlotte Bobcats on March 3, 2014 when he was a member of the Miami Heat. He had a 57-point game as a Cavalier on 11/3/2017 against the Washington Wizards and most recently dropped 56 points on the Golden State Warriors as a Laker on March 5, 2022 when he was 37-years old.
“It’s funny, our [media] guys were following me off the floor tonight going to the locker room and they asked me how it feels to score 56. I said, ’Right now, I don’t give a (expletive) about the 56. I’m just happy we got the win,'" James said postgame.
Ranking: No. 3
Total games: 1,476
Total points: 36,928
Fun fact: "The Mailman" spent nearly his entire year on the Utah Jazz, where he dropped a career-high 61 points against the Milwaukee Bucks on January 27, 1990, shooting 82% from the field (21 of 26 field goals and 19 of 23 free throws). He spent the last season of his 19-year career in Los Angeles, where he averaged 13.2 points and 8.7 rebounds.
Ranking: No. 4
Total games: 1,346
Total points: 33,643
Fun fact: "The Black Mamba" dropped a career-high 81-points against the Toronto Raptors on January 22, 2006, the second most points ever scored in a single NBA game, only behind Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point performance in 1962. (See below for more.)
"The day that I actually scored 81 was my grandfather’s birthday, who had passed away a few years before. And my grandmother, who had never seen me play in the NBA…flew out to California and she came to watch me play for the first time, the only time, and that so happened to be the night I scored 81," Bryant later recalled.
Bryant scored 60 or more points six times in his career, including the last game of his 20-year career with the Lakers on April 13, 2016, where he dropped 60 against the Utah Jazz.
Ranking: No. 7
Total games: 1,045
Total points: 31,419
Fun fact: Every basketball fan has seen the historic photo of Philadelphia Warriors (now Golden State Warriors) star Chamberlain holding a sign reading "100." The image was taken after he scored a career-high 100 points on the New York Knicks on April 2, 1962, a feat that hasn't been matched six decades later.
Chamberlain scored 60 or more points 32 times in his 15-year career, including five 70+ point games. He's also the only player to average 50 points in a season (1961-62).
Ranking: No. 8
Total games: 1,207
Total points: 28,596
Fun fact: O'Neal is one of the greatest centers of all time and his dominance was on full display on his 28th birthday on March 6, 2000, when he dropped a career-high 61 points and 23 rebounds in a win against the Clippers, all without hitting a 3-pointer.
The game was at the Staples Center, but the Lakers were the road team. O'Neal said the Clippers charging him for tickets inspired his performance. He could've had more.
"I'm actually kind of upset at Phil (Jackson) because I think we had five minutes left and he took me out," Shaq later recalled. "I think he did that because he didn't want me to score more than Michael (Jordan). That's what I think. That's my theory."
O'Neal could have been higher on list had he fine tuned one area of his game – free throws. He missed a staggering 5,317 free throws in his career, which could have lifted him to No. 4 spot over his counterpart Kobe Bryant. Would've, could've, should've.
Ranking: No. 9
Total games: 1,260
Total points: 28,289
Fun fact: Anthony spent the last season of his 20-year career with the Lakers, where he averaged only 13.3 points in 2021-22. His best career performance came when he played on the New York Knicks and dropped 62 points on the Charlotte Bobcats on January 24, 2014.
"I came into the game locked in. I didn't know I was going to have this type of performance. It's an unbelievable feeling," he said postgame. "It's just a zone you get into sometimes. Only a certain group of people know what that zone feels like. Tonight was one of those zones. My teammates saw that."
Ranking: No. 23
Total games: 932
Total points: 25,192
Fun fact: West has had many iconic performances in his career, like his game-tying 60-footer in Game 3 of the 1970 Finals against the New York Knicks, but his best scoring game came several years earlier when he dropped 63 points against the Knicks on January 17, 1962.
West is the only player to be named Finals MVP on a losing team after he averaged nearly 38 points in a seven-game series loss to Boston in 1969.
Follow Cydney Henderson on Twitter @CydHenderson.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Lakers rule the NBA's all-time leading scorers list. Who's on top?