There are so many ways to win a basketball game, but only one basis – the score. That’s why most players do their best to make points with field goals or free throws. Some players, on the other hand, make sure to support the best shooters. Are you curious who the front-runners are when it comes to making points? Check this out:
10. Elvin Hayes – 27,313
Elvin Ernest Hayes is already a retired American NBA player. He is one of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team. He is also a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee.
For his whole career with the Baltimore/Capital/Washington Bullets and the San Diego/Houston Rockets, Hayes managed to play 1,303 games in 16 seasons. That’s how he came up with a total of 27,313 points. Aside from the points, Hayes also made 16,279 rebounds as a whole. He was a pretty hardworking basketball player because he tried his best to not miss a game.
Interestingly, Hayes refused to attend the Hall of Fame from 1990 to 2012. He really wanted the organization to acknowledge his coach back when he was still in the University of Houston – Guy Lewis. Thankfully, Lewis finally belonged to the Hall of Fame last 2013. Right on cue, Hayes attended the ceremony for the first time.
9. Moses Malone – 27,409
The late Moses Eugene Malone was the ninth highest scorer in NBA history. He experienced playing for the American Basketball Association (ABA) starting 1974. Playing center, he got the title of the NBA Most Valuable Player for three times. He also got NBA All-Star 12 times and All-NBA selection eight times. But, he only won NBA championship for the first and last time in 1983. He was with the Philadelphia 76ers for the Finals MVP. In 2001, he became an inductee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
In 1974, Malone began his career with the Utah Stars when he was chosen in the third round of the ABA Draft. As a rookie, he got the title of ABA All-Star. He played for two seasons with the ABA before the league joined with the NBA.
8. LeBron James – 28,248
One of the most popular NBA stars in this generation, LeBron Raymone James is currently playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He won three championships, specifically in 2012, 2013 and 2016. His awards in the NBA include: four MVPs in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013; three Finals MVP in 2012, 2013 and 2016; two gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics; one NBA scoring title in 2008; and the Rookie of the Year Award in 2004. He has been selected for 13 All-Star teams, 12 teams in All-NBA and six teams in All-Defensive.
James is one of the biggest celebrity athletes. He has a lot of endorsements for big companies. He was also featured in several TV commercials, documentaries and books. In 2015, he even appeared in the movie “Trainwreck.”
7. Shaquille O’Neal – 28,596
Like LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal is also one of most famous athletes. The difference is that he has been in the basketball and entertainment industry for a very long time already. Simply called Shaq, O’Neal is already retired in the league. But, he will always be known as one of the heaviest, most humorous and most strategic NBA players in history. He managed to play for six teams in his whole NBA career spanning 19 years.
Amazingly, O’Neal was also a rapper. He actually released several albums and got a platinum for his first one titled “Shaq Diesel.” He also appeared in a lot of movies and TV shows.
6. Dirk Nowitzki – 29,952
Dirk Werner Nowitzki is a German player for the Dallas Mavericks. In 1998, he was the ninth pick by the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA draft. But, he ended up playing with the Mavericks until the present. He is considered by basketball critics as one of the best power forwards in NBA history.
Nowitzki played with the Mavericks in 15 Playoffs. He is an All-Star 13 times and a member of the All-NBA Team 12 times. He will always be remembered in the industry because he is the first European to play an All-Star Game and win the MVP Award. In 2002, he won a bronze medal with the national basketball team of Germany during the FIBA World Championship. He also won a silver medal in EuroBasket last 2005. He remained as one of the most popular European athletes.
5. Wilt Chamberlain – 31,419
The late Wilton Norman Chamberlain will never be forgotten by the industry because he was one of the best dominant NBA players in history. He was known for durability, rebounds and scores. He remained as the only player who scored 100 points in just one game, and had an average of 20 rebounds and 30 points in every game in one season.
Because of his super-tall height, Chamberlain was called “Wilt the Stilt” and “Goliath.” But, he hated both those nicknames. The only one he liked was “The Big Dipper.” Chamberlain was also an all-around athlete. After retiring from the NBA, he joined the International Volleyball Association. He was even the president of that organization.
4. Michael Jordan – 32,292
Even young children nowadays know Michael Jordan. Known as MJ, this athlete is one of the most influential personalities in history. The official NBA site even tagged him as “the greatest basketball player of all time.” Jordan is already retired, but he is still being compared to existing basketball players. He played a total of 15 NBA seasons for the Washington Wizards and the Chicago Bulls. Basketball analysts regarded him as essential for making NBA popular worldwide from the 1980s to the 1990s. Jordan gained the nicknames “His Airness” and “Air Jordan” because of his powerful leaps and slam dunks. Aside from being an expert in scoring, he is also one of the greatest defensive basketball players.
The commercial popularity of Jordan’s name is insane. The Air Jordan sneakers of Nike will always be popular, even for the modern generation. Not only that, Jordan starred in the 1996 hit movie “Space Jam.” There’s no doubt about it – Jordan is the first billionaire basketball player. He was second to Oprah Winfrey when it comes to the wealthiest African American personalities.
3. Kobe Bryant – 33,643
Kobe Bean Bryant just recently retired from the NBA after 20 years. He remained loyal to the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five championships together. He is currently holding the record in the NBA for being a player with the longest stay in just one franchise. Obviously, he was inspired by his father Joe Bryant who was also a basketball player in the league.
Bryant is the youngest NBA player to reach a massive total of 30,000 points. He is considered by some critics to be the best NBA player during the 2000s.
2. Karl Malone – 36,928
Karl Anthony Malone is already retired from basketball career. He is known as “The Mailman” and one of the best power forwards. He is currently holding the NBA record of the most free throws, both successful and attempted. Malone is an inductee for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame twice. Why? One is for his personal career while the other is for being a member of the American basketball team for the 1992 Olympics.
1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – 38,387
Also known as Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor,Jr. as his birth name, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a retired NBA player who will always be popular because of his 20-season career with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Milwaukee Bucks. Playing as a center, he became one of the 50 best players in the history of NBA. Julius Erving, Isiah Thomas and Pat Riley considered him as the best NBA player in history. Abdul-Jabbar had a trademark basketball move called “skyhook” shot.
ESPN tagged Abdul-Jabbar as the best center in NBA history and the best college basketball player. As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton even selected him as cultural ambassador. One of his biggest and latest honors is President Barack Obama’s Presidential Medal of Freedom.