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Could Luka Doncic Catch LeBron James' NBA Career Scoring Total?

LeBron James mentioned Luka Doncic among the NBA players he could see as possibly scoring more career points than him.

LeBron James is rapidly approaching Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's ranking as the NBA's all-time leading scorer. With only needing 422 points to achieve the mark, James should overtake Abdul-Jabbar's 38,387 points sometime after the All-Star break. 

For many decades, it was thought of as impossible for a player to catch Abdul-Jabbar on the career-scoring leaderboard. He was among the greatest to ever play in a career that spanned 20 years and 1,560 games. With a career average of 24.6 points per game, the longevity and volume were remarkable. 

With the nature of records being made to be broken, many have already begun speculating if there is a player that will one day surpass James' career scoring total. For a player that is averaging 27.2 points per game for his career average of 20 seasons in in 1,397 games, this mark also feels impossible to achieve. 

During an interview with ESPN, James discussed the names that he sees as being potential options to pass him on the NBA's all-time scoring list. His first answer was Kevin Durant, but he mentioned Luka Doncic among the options. 

"KD's the first name that comes to mind for sure. Kevin Durant's name is 'Easy Money' & 'Slim Reaper' for a reason... Kyrie, Luka, Embiid, Giannis. Those guys put numbers on the board."

Doncic isn't so convinced that he'll be the one to surpass James when it's all said and done. Not only will it be challenging for anyone to achieve, Doncic doesn't envision himself playing long enough to reach the feat. 

“It’s always a possibility, but it’s gonna be really tough,” Doncic said. “You’ve gotta have a guy that plays for 20 years, in that shape, how he holds up his body. I’m just saying outside of the basketball skills, it’s very hard to hold that body.”

Doncic does have the luxury of already averaging 27.3 points per game for his career despite averaging 21.2 in his rookie campaign. The clear factor with the Mavericks superstar's outlook is his desire to play for the necessary duration to surpass James' total. 

The response from Doncic to the question posed about catching James on the all-time scoring leaderboard isn't the first time that Doncic has alluded to a desire to not play for 20 or more seasons in his NBA career. 

Dirk Nowitzki recently mentioned that he would like Doncic to be the player to break his record of 21 seasons played for a single franchise. When asked about the comment, Doncic said that he thinks playing for 20 years is "a long time" and would prefer to go back to his farm in Slovenia instead. 

In fairness, it's difficult to envision any player necessarily planning to play for that long. It's something that seems to just happen after having durability and maintaining a high level of impact to a point that it's still worth playing. It's impossible to predict injuries or how someone's body will hold up. 

The goal for Doncic isn't to play forever. It's to win championships during the time that he does spend in the NBA. The Mavs came as close as they have since their 2011 title run in doing so by reaching the Western Conference Finals, but there's a lot of work to do before they likely get over the hump. 

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