Top 15 Most Points in NBA History

Let’s find out which players have the most points in NBA history. Is it LeBron James, Michael Jordan, or Karl Malone?

If you play basketball or have tried playing, you know for sure how stressful and fast-paced the game is.

To watch basketball is all fun; imagine playing on the court.

Driving the ball, dunking, making your best plays, jumping, and overall, the thrill of the game.

We love it all.

Basketball was invented in the early 1980s. You should know that basketball had only 13 rules originally and has evolved.

Scoring a two-pointer or a three-pointer in basketball requires proper coordination and good skills. Plays don’t just happen. You need to plan and execute.

Of course, skill and experience are some of the most important aspects of the game.

Quick Overview

Player’s Name Number of Points
15) Tim Duncan 26,496
14) Dominique Wilkins 26,668
13) Oscar Robertson  26,710
12) Hakeem Olajuwon 26,946
11) Elvin Hayes 27,313
10) Carmelo Anthony 27,370
9) Moses Malone 27,409
8) Shaquille O’Neal 28,569
7) Wilt Chamberlain 31,419
6) Dirk Nowitzki 31,560
5) Michael Jordan 32,292
4) Kobe Bryant 33,643
3) LeBron James 35,367
2) Karl Malone  36,928
1) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 38,387

Most Points in the NBA History

The information and details below has been compiled from NBA & Wikipedia.

15) Tim Duncan

Points: 26,496

Rebounds: 15,091

Assists: 4,225

Timothy Theodore Duncan, also known as “The Big Fundamental,” is said to be one of the greatest power forwards.

He played from San Antonio Spurs from 1997-2016.

Then, he was an assistant coach for San Antonio Spurs from 2019-2020.

Tim Duncan
Tim Duncan (Source: commons.wikimedia.org)

Tim has won a total of 5 NBA Championship, 3 NBA Finals MVPs, and NBA Most Valuable Player twice.

He was 15 times NBA All-Star, NBA All-Star Game MVP in 2000, 10 times All-NBA First Team, three times All-NBA Second Team, and two times All-NBA Third Team.

In addition, he was eight times NBA All-Defensive First Team and seven times NBA All-Defensive Second Team.

14) Dominique Wilkins

Points: 26,668

Rebounds: 7,167

Assists: 2,677

Jacques Dominique Wilkins is one of the greatest dunkers the NBA has seen.

His nickname is “The Human Highlight Reel.”

Wilkins was nine times NBA All-Star and All-NBA First Team in 1985.

Also, he was four times NBA Second Team and two times All-NBA Third Team.

Furthermore, he was awarded the NBA Scoring Champion in 1986 and the NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion twice in 1985 and 1990.

13) Oscar Robertson

Points: 26,710

Rebounds: 7,804

Assists: 9,887

Oscar Palmer Robertson is hands down one of the best point guards in the NBA.

Commonly known as “The Big O,” Robertson is 6ft 5 inches.

He played for Cincinnati Royals from 1960-1970 and Milwaukee Bucks from 1970-1974.

Robertson won NBA Championship in 1971 and NBA Most Valuable Player in 1964.

He was selected in 12 NBA All-Star games, winning  NBA All-Star Game MVP three times.

Furthermore, he was in All-NBA First Team 9 times and All- NBA Second Team twice.

Also Read: Top 10 Point Guards in the NBA

12) Hakeem Olajuwon

Points: 26,946

Rebounds: 13,747

Blocks: 3,830

Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon, commonly known as “the Dream,” played the center position in the NBA.

He started his professional career at Houston Rockets in 1984 until 2001.

After that, he played for Toronto Raptors from 2001-2002.

In his 18 year NBA career, he won 2 NBA Championships, 2 NBA Finals MVPs, and NBA Most Valuable Player in 1994.

Furthermore, he played in 12 NBA All-Stars and was six times All-NBA First Team, three times All-NBA Second Team, and three times All-NBA Third Team.

11) Elvin Hayes “The Big E.”

Points: 27,313

Rebounds: 16,279

Blocks: 1,171

Elvin Ernest Hayes scored a total of 27,313 points in his 16-year career.

He played for San Diego/Houston Rockets from 1968-1972, Baltimore/Capital/Washington Bullets from 1972-1981.

Furthermore, he played for Houston Rockets from 1981-1984.

Elvin was awarded NBA Championship in 1978.

He was selected in 12 NBA All-Star games, 3 All-NBA First Team, 3 All-NBA Second Team, and an NBA Scoring Championship in 1969.

10) Carmelo Anthony

Points: 27,370

Rebounds: 7,520

Assists: 3,354

Carmelo Kyam Anthony is currently playing for Los Angeles Lakers since the 2021-22 NBA season.

He started his career at Denver Nuggets, where he played from 2003-2011.

Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony (Source:commons.wikimedia.org)

After that, he played for New York Knicks from 2011-2017, Oklahoma City Thunder from 2017-2018, Houston Rockets from 2018-2019, and Portland Trail Blazers from 2019-2021.

He has been selected in 10 NBA All-Star games, 2 All-NBA Second Team, 4 All-NBA Third Team, and NBA scoring championship in 2013.

9) Moses Malone

Points: 29,580

Rebounds: 17,834

Blocks: 1,889

Moses Eugene Malone was an efficient center player.

He played for 21 years, starting with Utah Stars from 1974 to 1975.

Then, he played for Spirits of St. Louis from 1975-1976, Buffalo Braves in 1976, Houston Rockets from 1976-1982, and Philadelphia 76ers from 1982 to 1986.

Similarly, he played for Washington Bullets, Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks, and San Antonio Spurs.

He was an assistant coach for the Philadelphia 76ers from 2006-2009.

Malone won an NBA Championship in 1983 and NBA Finals MVP the same year.

He was awarded NBA  Most Valuable Player thrice.

In addition, he was selected to 12 NBA All-Star games, 4 All-NBA First Team, and 4 All-NBA Second Team.

He passed away on September 13, 2015.

8) Shaquille O’Neal

Points: 28,596

Rebounds: 13,099

Blocks: 2,732

Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal, best known as Shaq, is one of the greatest basketball players of all time.

He currently hosts Inside the NBA, which is a postgame show.

Firstly, he played for Orlando Magic from 1992-1996.

Following that, he played for Los Angeles Lakers from 1996-2004, Miami Heat from 2004-2008, Phoenix Suns from 2008-2009, Cleveland Cavaliers from 2009-2010, and for Boston Celtics from 2010-2011.

Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille O’Neal (Source: quotepark.com)

He played the center position in the court.

He has won the NBA Championship 4 times, NBA Finals MVP 3 times, and NBA Most Valuable Player in 2000.

Shaq has played 15 NBA All-Star games, winning 3 NBA All-Star Game MVPs.

He has played with Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone, LeBron James, and Steve Nash.

Fun Fact: Shaq has shattered about 12 boards throughout his career.

7) Wilt Chamberlain

Points: 31,419

Rebounds: 23,924

Assists: 4,643

We all know him for scoring a hundred points in a single game!

Undoubtedly, he ranks seventh in the top 15 most points.

He played for Harlem Globetrotters from 1958-1959, Philadelphia/San Fransisco Warriors from 1959-1965, Philadelphia 76ers from 1965-1968, and for Los Angeles Lakers from 1968-1973.

He is the only player averaging 30 points and 20 rebounds in his career.

Wilt Chamberlain
Wilt Chamberlain (Source: commons.wikimedia.org)

Chamberlain has won the NBA Championship twice, NBA Most Valuable Player four times, and NBA Finals MVP in 1972.

In addition, he also played in 13 NBA All-Star games, winning NBA All-Star Game MVP in 1960, All-NBA First Team 7 times, All-NBA Second Team 3 times, and NBA All-Defensive First Team twice.

6) Dirk Nowitzki

Points: 31,560

Rebounds: 11,489

Assists: 3,651

Dirk Nowitzki is a retired German professional basketball player.

He played power forward and center positions.

He played for DJK Würzburg, a German sports club, from 1994 to 1998.

In 1998, he was picked in the NBA draft by Milwaukee Bucks.

Then, he played for Dallas Mavericks from 1998-2019 for 21 seasons.

Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk Nowitzki (Source: commons.wikimedia.org)

He was a versatile and accurate player. Dirk was selected in 14 NBA All-Star games.

He was also in All-NBA First Team 4 times and All-NBA Second Team 5 times.

Surely, he won an NBA Championship in 2011 and NBA Finals MVP in 2011.

5) Michael Jordan

Points: 32,292

Rebounds: 6,672

Assists: 5,633

We all know Michael Jeffrey Jordan, don’t we?

Jordan played the shooting guard position.

He played for Chicago Bulls from 1984 to 1993 and from 1995 to 1998.

Further, he played for Washington Wizards from 2001 to 2003.

Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan (Source:flickr.com)

He won 6 NBA championships, 6 NBA Finals MVP, five times Most Valuable Player, and ten times NBA Scoring Champion.

In addition, he was selected 14 times NBA All-Star Games in which he was three times NBA All-Star and ten times All-NBA First Team.

Looking at his statistics, we can tell why he is one of the best. Really, he was an unstoppable and spectacular player.

4) Kobe Byrant “Black Mamba”

Points: 33,643

Rebounds: 7,047

Assists: 6,306

The 6 feet 6 inches tall Kobe Bean Bryant has to be one of the best players the NBA has ever seen.

He played the shooting guard position and dominated all games.

He played from 1996 to 2016 for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Kobe won 5 NBA Championship, 2 NBA Finals MVPs, NBA Most Valuable Player, 1 NBA Scoring Champion, and the list goes on.

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant (Source:flickr.com)

Furthermore, he was also in 18 NBA All-Star games where he won NBA All-Star Game MVP 4 times.

Kobe and Michael Jordan were like brothers. Bryant also mirrored many Michael Jordan moves.

Leaving a legacy behind, Kobe died in a helicopter crash in 2020.

His death left all of us in shock and disbelief.

Rest in Power.

3) LeBron James “King James”

Points: 35,367*

Rebounds: 9,751*

Assists: 9,696*

LeBron Raymone James Sr is a professional American basketball player, also commonly known as King James.

He stands 6 feet 9 inches tall.

Furthermore, a well-built structure and good ball-handling skills are what make LeBron James one of his kind.

LeBron James
LeBron James (Source: wikimedia.commons.org)

He played for the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2003-2010.

Following that, he played for Miami Heat from 2010-2014 and again for Cleveland Cavaliers from 2014-2018.

Also, he has been playing for Los Angeles Lakers since 2018 till present.

Undoubtedly, he has won NBA Championship 4 times, NBA Finals MVP four times, and NBA Most Valuable Player 4 times.

Furthermore, he was selected in NBA All-Star 17 times and NBA All-Star Game MVP three times.

2) Karl Malone

Points: 36,928

Rebounds: 14,968

Assists: 5,238

With 36,928 points, in number two, we have Karl Anthony Malone.

He is also known as The Mailman. This is because he always delivered. Undoubtedly, we know that Karl Malone is one of the best power forwards.

With his strong and aggressive nature, he played for 18 seasons.

He played for Utah Jazz from 1985 to 2003.

Then, for the Los Angeles Lakers from 2003-2004.

Karl Malone
Karl Malone and His Wife Kay Malone (Source:instagram.com)

He also worked as an assistant coach for Louisiana Tech.

Furthermore, this 6 feet 9-inch player has won many accolades throughout his career. Some of them are:

NBA Most Valuable Player twice, NBA All-Star Game MVP twice, NBA All-Defensive Second Team, and All-NBA Defensive First Team 3 times.

In addition to that, he was selected in NBA All-Star 14 times.

1) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Points: 38,387

Rebounds: 17,440

Assists: 5,660

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is 7 feet 2 inches former American basketball player.

He played for the Milwaukee Bucks from 1969-1975 and for the Los Angeles Lakers from 1975-1989.

Undoubtedly, he was one of the tallest and the greatest players in NBA history.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Source: quotepark.com)

He has won NBA Championship 6 times, NBA Finals MVP two times, and NBA Most Valuable Player 6 times.

In addition to that, he won the NBA All-Star 19 times, NBA Rookie of the Year in 1970, and many more.

He also coached from 1998 to 2011.

What made him the best?

He was fierce, tall, huge, and dominated absolutely all games.

His skyhook was a move no one could predict or defend.

All in all, he was unstoppable.

Unknown Facts

  • NBA adopted three-pointers from the 1979-1980 season.
  • Originally, basketball was a passing game and not a dribbling game.
  • James Naismith invented basketball.
  • Basketball originally had 13 rules.

Related:

Top 10 Shortest NBA Players in the World

Top 10 NBA Arenas

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