LeBron James now stands alone as the all-time leading scorer in NBA history.

He currently sits with 38,450 points in his Hall of Fame career, and before suffering his ankle injury, was still averaging 29.5 points per game this year. So there’s no telling how much longer he’ll play, let alone at this level, thus adding to the divide between him and Kareem Adbul-Jabaar.

But how much does the era they played in impact their scoring?

Here’s how LeBron would have played in Kareem’s era.

Even though LeBron is shooting more threes than he ever has in his career, the loss of the three-point line would not impact him much in my equation, especially considering an increase in pace of almost 10%, and free throws being nearly 25% more than it is in today’s game.

So, while the popular argument to have is to compare how former great players would play in today’s league, LeBron is one of the best examples of a player who could realistically shine in any era. But which is the best after inflation?

In the top-5 of the scoring list are Kareem, Malone, Kobe, and MJ, all of who played in separate timespans, so here is how James’ scoring total would look if he played in their league averages.

LeBron’s career points would increase in every era outside of Kobe’s, which would only fall by around 100 points. 

The normal deflator of a player’s stats is the loss of the three, whether a player is a high-volume shooter or not. However, LeBron’s effectiveness inside the arc and sustained usage percentage allow him to still produce even in some eras where his threes were slashed in half, or even in Kareem’s era where the three-point shot was eliminated entirely.

Another bonus to his scoring is the league average of free throws being higher in every other era, which in his highest-projected era of Jordan’s career, he’d get a bump of nearly 15%.

So, how many points is James on pace to finish his career with?

While LeBron has never hinted at when he’ll be ready to retire, and his play certainly doesn’t showcase a need to, all we know is he wants to play alongside his son.

Since Bronny is draft eligible in 2024, let’s say he chose to retire after the 2024-25 season, here is what LeBron would hypothetically end his career with factoring in future years of inflation:

By using his games played average of 79% over the past 3 seasons, alongside his recent scoring trends to project his upcoming 3 seasons, LeBron would finish with 41,825 points.

That would finish just under 3,500 points higher than Kareem in second, and over 15,000 more than Kevin Durant, who is the closest active player to LeBron.