LeBron James overtakes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in another NBA milestone after achieving parity in games played for Lakers and Heat

The 2023/2024 NBA season is LeBron James’ season. In just one month into the regular season, he has already broken and set new records. Approaching 39 in December, LeBron James is poised to achieve more unprecedented heights before saying goodbye to the sport.

Recently, he surpassed 39k points in the league, becoming the first player in history to do so. Legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s milestone achievement has been broken, achieved in the same playing minutes for both the LA Lakers and the Miami Heat.

LeBron James surpasses Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in minutes played

In his 21st NBA season, LeBron James has added another record to his impressive career. During Monday night’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers, James surpassed the legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record to become the league’s all-time leader in minutes played.

LeBron James has surpassed  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as well as replicating his five-year tenure with the Miami Heat in the last five years with the Los Angeles Lakers.
LeBron James Via Getty

James achieved this milestone just a month into the regular season, crossing the 66,300-minute mark. Displaying no signs of slowing down, James has the opportunity to set a higher bar for the next generation. At 38 years old, set to turn 39 in December, he continues to perform at the highest level in the league so far.

In the game against the Sixers where he surpassed the record, the Lakers star exceeded Abdul-Jabbar’s previous minutes record of 66,297. Karl Malone holds the third spot with 62,700 minutes, followed by Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki. Chris Paul, the closest active player to James on the all-time minutes list, ranks No. 28. Kevin Durant is another active player in the top 50.

However, last season, LeBron James also surpassed Abdul-Jabbar’s scoring record in a game against OKC. In the current season, he maintains an average of 25.5 points, eight rebounds, and 6.6 assists, playing just shy of 34 minutes per game. This achievement solidifies James’ enduring impact on the NBA to date.

LeBron balances Lakers and Heat tenures with 294 appearances each

LeBron James became a part of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018, and many anticipated he would gracefully transition into post-retirement pursuits in LA. However, he has not only remained active on the court but has also been setting historic records with each game. His tenure with the Lakers has extended to the point where he has matched the number of games he played during his four-season stint with the Miami Heat.

During his time with the Heat, James played 294 games over four seasons, achieving four consecutive NBA Finals appearances and securing two championships in 2012 and 2013. While his Lakers journey hasn’t been as immediately rewarding, marked by injury challenges since 2018, he did lead the team to a dominant championship victory in 2020.

LeBron James has surpassed  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as well as replicating his five-year tenure with the Miami Heat in the last five years with the Los Angeles Lakers.
LeBron James Via Getty

Comparing his statistics, with the Lakers, James boasts an average of 27.3 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 7.9 APG, 1.2 SPG, and 0.7 BPG. In contrast, with the Heat, his averages were 26.9 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 6.7 APG, 1.7 SPG, and 0.7 BPG.

His Lakers achievements include one championship, one Finals MVP, one All-NBA First Team, one All-NBA Second Team, two All-NBA Third Team selections, four All-Star appearances, and leading in assists in 2020.

In his Heat days, he earned two championships, two Finals MVPs, two Regular Season MVPs, four All-NBA First Team selections, four All-Star appearances, three All-Defensive First Team nods, and one All-Defensive Second Team placement. LeBron James has experienced significant success in both Lakers and Heat chapters of his career.

His prime years with the Heat showcased an almost unstoppable force, earning him unanimous consideration for the 2013 MVP. The multitude of highlights from those four years continues to astound many, given the relatively short duration of James’ time in Miami.

Shariare Hasib

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Shariare Hasib is an NBA Editor at SportsKnot. With a master's degree in journalism from a prestigious university, Shariare started writing about the sport during his undergraduate years. Since then, he has been fascinated by LeBron James' lasting impact as well as Stephen Curry's incredible consistency. He specializes in live basketball coverage. Apart from reporting on trade speculations and match updates during off-season activities, Shariare frequently interacts with fan communities to stay abreast of the constantly evolving NBA scene.


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