LeBron James set to surpass the 40,000-career-point mark Saturday vs. Nuggets: ‘It’s pretty cool’

LeBron James needs just nine points to hit 40,000 for his career, something no player has ever done in the history of the league

LeBron James is already the NBA's all-time scoring leader. But on Saturday night, James is likely to hit another milestone in his already historic career.

The Los Angeles Lakers star is just nine points from surpassing the 40,000-point mark, which is something no player has done in NBA history. James should accomplish that feat Saturday night when the Lakers host the Denver Nuggets at Arena.

Though James has already solidified himself as one of the best to ever play the game, and he passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the league’s all-time leading scorer last year, James knows how big the 40,000-point mark is, even for him.

“I mean, I can’t sit here and say no because, of course,” James said on Thursday night after the Lakers’ overtime win against the Washington Wizards, via The Athletic. “No one has ever done it. And for me to be in this position at this point and time in my career, I think it’s pretty cool. Does it sit at the top of the things I’ve done in my career? No. But does it mean something? Of course. Absolutely. Why wouldn’t it?

“To be able to accomplish things in this league, with the greatest players to ever play in this league, the NBA, this has been a dream of mine and to hit feats and have milestones throughout my career, they all mean something to me. Absolutely. Obviously, there’s a pecking order of which ones are higher than others, but absolutely. I would be lying to you if I said it doesn’t mean anything. Because it absolutely does.”

LeBron James needs just nine points to hit 40,000 for his career, something no player has ever done in the history of the league
LeBron James needs just nine points to hit 40,000 for his career, something no player has done in the history of the league. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA Today)

James officially scored his 38,388th point last year to surpass Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, which immediately sparked an unprecedented ceremony on the court in Los Angeles. The 39-year-old has been slowly adding to his point total ever since.

James is averaging 25.3 points per game this season, which is 15th across the league. He’s averaged at least 25 points per game in all but his rookie season in the NBA, too.

Kevin Durant is the closest active player to James on the scoring list, though he’s more than 10,000 points behind him. James Harden is the only other active player in the top 25, but he has 25,600 points as of Friday afternoon. It doesn’t seem as if anyone is going to be able to catch him anytime soon, either. Dallas Mavericks star Luka Dončić likely has the best chance, but he’d have to maintain his current scoring rate and play until 2039, when he’ll be 40.

The Lakers will enter Saturday’s game with a 33-28 record, which has them in ninth in the Western Conference. They’ve won three of their last five coming out of the All-Star break, though James had to put up 31 points to get them past the lowly Wizards in overtime Thursday night.

Even though his career is nearing its end, James isn’t slowing down. As long as he’s able, he’s going to keep pushing his lead on the scoring list.

“I never thought about getting the scoring record,” James said Thursday, via The Athletic. “It just happened organically. I played the game the right way and went out and played the game and let the game come to me and the scoring record happened organically for me. It was never a goal of mine when I came into the league, like I wanted to be the all-time leading scorer. But I’m still playing. And I can still score the ball, so it’s going to go up until I’m done playing.”