Names like Michael Jordan and LeBron James often come to mind when the words NBA career leaders are spoken, with images of greatness and action-packed games that leave fans on the edge of their seats. However, we have to take a look at career statistics to find who America’s true NBA career leaders are, the ones who provided the points, rebounds and assists to find themselves ranked among the best.
NBA Point Leaders
While James (32,868 points) and Jordan (32,292 points) do find themselves as the fourth and fifth all-time NBA scorers, it is NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who sits atop the best of the best with a whopping 38,387 points. Hall of Famer Karl Malone sunk 36,928 points to become the second-ranked highest scorer of all time, and the well-known Kobe Bryant sunk 33, 643 points for third. Rounding out the top 10 is Dirk Nowitzki (31,560), Wilt Chamberlain (31,419), Julius Erving (30,026), Moses Malone (29,580) and Shaquille O’Neal (28,596).
NBA Rebound Leaders
When it comes to rebounds, it is Chamberlain at the top of the rankings with 23, 924 rebounds. Bill Russell sits in second with 21, 620 rebounds, while scoring leader Abdul-Jabbar has the third all-time leading rebounds with 17, 440. Elvin Hayes (16,279), Moses Malone (16,212), Tim Duncan (15,091), Karl Malone (14,968), Robert Parish (14,715), Kevin Garnett (14,662) and Nate Thurmond (14,464) make up the top 10.
NBA Assist Leaders
Leaders in assists include John Stockton with 15, 806 assists, followed by Jason Kidd with 12, 091. Steve Nash provided 10, 335 in his career for third, followed by Mark Jackson (10,334), Magic Johnson (10, 141), Oscar Robertson (9,887), Chris Paul (9,246), Isaiah Thomas (9,061), Gary Payton (8,966) and Lebron James (8,807).
Defense enthusiasts will insist the best in the NBA include those with high rebounding while those who like to see high numbers will root for the leaders with the most points, but each of these NBA career leaders provided something to the game that will stand the test of time. For more accurate, clear and comprehensive reporting on a variety of sports, connect with The Fanatic.