LeBron James is cruising into the "milestone" portion of his incredible NBA career. By scoring at least 10 points Tuesday night against the Toronto Raptors, LeBron has scored in double figures in 500 straight regular-season games.
It's a pretty remarkable feat, according to the research done by the South Florida Sun Sentinel's Ira Winderman:
It not only is the longest active such streak in the NBA, but with 10 or more points against the Raptors, he will become just the fifth player in league history with a streak of 500 games or more.
The current NBA 500 club:
Michael Jordan (866 consecutive games)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (787 consecutive games )
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (508 consecutive games)
Karl Malone (575 consecutive games)
Moses Malone (526 consecutive games)
No, one of those Abdul-Jabbars is not the former Miami Dolphins running back. Kareem (the basketball version) really did notch two streaks of 500-plus double-digit-scoring games. That's crazy! It's almost as if you'd expect the guy to be the NBA's all-time leader in points or something!
There are no slackers in the 500 club. Kareem, Karl Malone, Michael Jordan and Moses Malone rank first, second, third and seventh in NBA history in total points scored. LeBron will be pulling up the rear at a mere 37th place on the all-time scoring list, but it seems a pretty good bet that the guy has a few more points left in him.
Let's break down some of the facts behind LeBron's little streak (all statistics courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com):
- He has never scored fewer than 10 points in a regular-season game for the Miami Heat. He did score less than 10 points in Game 4 of the 2011 NBA Finals, though.
- The last game in which LeBron scored fewer than 10 points in the regular season came on Jan. 5, 2007 in Milwaukee. LeBron was a Cleveland Cavalier, and George W. Bush was the President. Three of LeBron's teammates scored more than 10 points on that night: Drew Gooden (31 points), Larry Hughes (22) and Zydrunas Ilgauskas (11). None of those three players currently play in the NBA.
- Before Tuesday night, LeBron played in 769 regular-season games in his NBA career, and he failed to score at least 10 points in only eight of them. He has scored in double digits in 98.96 percent of his games.
- Of the eight regular-season games in which he failed to score at least 10 points, seven of them happened when he was a teenager. The soon-to-be-29-year-old LeBron has scored fewer than 10 points only once in his 20s.
- He still has a long way to go to catch Michael Jordan's 866-game streak. If LeBron played (and scored 10-plus points) in every game, he would break Jordan's record midway through the 2017-18 season.
If you're looking for the next threat to join the 500 club, look no further than Thunder forward Kevin Durant. The 25-year-old Durant is working on a healthy 327-game active streak and showing no signs of slowing down. No one else on the active list is even within 200 games of LeBron.
This record speaks to the remarkable consistency of the NBA's best player. LeBron hasn't even reached 30 years of age, yet he is already walking with the NBA's immortals.
And he's enjoying the milestone: