The All-Time Leading Scorers in the NBA

The All-Time Leading Scorers in the NBA is a list of the greatest players in the history of the National Basketball Association.


In order to make this list, we took a look at the top fifty all-time leading scorers in the NBA and ranked them based on a number of factors. These include their total points scored, their points per game average, their championships won, their MVP awards, their All-Star appearances, and their Hall of Fame inductions. We also looked at how they stacks up against other top scorers in terms of efficiency and Playoff success.

List of leading scorers

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional men’s basketball league in North America, composed of 30 teams (29 in the United States and 1 in Canada). It is widely considered to be the premier men’s professional basketball league in the world.

The NBA was founded in New York City on June 6, 1946, as the Basketball Association of America (BAA).[1] The league adopted the name National Basketball Association on August 3, 1949, after merging with the competing National Basketball League (NBL).[2] The league’s several international as well as individual team offices are directed out of its head offices located in the Olympic Tower at 645 Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.

National Basketball Association players are the world’s best paid athletes by average annual salary per player.[3] More than 60players have been inducted into Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. NBA players are also ranked as some of America’s most likable athletes.[4][5]

Below is a list of the NBA all-time leading scorers. These lists include the top 50 scorers overall, plus any player who has scored more than 60 points in a game, regardless of where they rank overall.

Analysis of leading scorers

Today, we take a look at the all-time leading scorers in the NBA. We’ll examine their careers and try to identify patterns and commonalities among the top scorers.

We’ll start by looking at the top 10 scorers of all time:

1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – 38,387 points
2. Karl Malone – 36,928 points
3. LeBron James – 34,241 points
4. Kobe Bryant – 33,643 points
5. Michael Jordan – 32,292 points
6. Dirk Nowitzki – 31,560 points
7. Wilt Chamberlain – 31,419 points
8. Shaquille O’Neal – 28,596 points
9. Moses Malone – 27,409 points
10. Elvin Hayes – 27,313 points

Abdul-Jabbar, Malone, James, and Bryant make up the top 4 scoring leaders of all time; they are also the only players in NBA history to average over 30 points per game for their careers. All four players are among the top 10 in field goals made (James is 1st, Abdul-Jabbar is 2nd, Malone is 5th, and Bryant is 6th), as well as free throws made (Abdul-Jabbar is 1st by a large margin). All four players were also exceptional rebounders for their position; Abdul-Jabbar is 1st in NBA history in total rebounds (17,440), Malone is 14th (12,409), James is 3rd among guards (8,208), and Bryant is 11th among guards (6,126). Interestingly enough, 6 of the 10 leading scorers of all time are centers; this may be due to the fact that centers typically have aheight advantage over other players and can therefore shoot over them or get better positioning for rebounds. When we looked at field goal percentage leaders among active players (as of 2019-20 season), 5 of the top 10 were centers: Rudy Gobert (.689), Deandre Jordan (.654), Hassan Whiteside (.629), Dwight Howard (.582), and Andre Drummond (.578).
Duncan (.568) was the only non-center in the top 10; he played power forward throughout his career but was considered relatively small for his position at 6’10”. Free throw percentage leaders among active players are a little more evenly distributed across positions; Leonard (.856) and Nowitzki (.835) are wing players while Griffin (.829) plays power forward and Durant at small forward; Harden (.826) rounds out the top 5 as a guard.

While there isn’t one stand-out factor that contributes to why these 10 specific players are the leading scorers of all time rather than others who have scored just as many or more points over their careers (such as Jerry West who has an impressive 25th place onthe list with 21


In conclusion, these are the all-time leading scorers in the NBA. This list includes some of the greatest players to ever play the game. These players have scored a lot of points and have had great careers.

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