Who are the top 10 scorers in NBA history?


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Scoring remains the most glamorous stat in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
 
Known to be the premier men's professional basketball league in the world, the NBA has had many great scorers.
 
Here are the top 10 scorers in NBA history. 
 

Elvin Hayes - 27,313

 
The retired power forward had a successful career turning out for Houston Rockets and Washington Wizards in the NBA between 1968 and 1984.
 
Hayes had a career scoring average of 21.0 points and 12.5 rebounds per game, and he played at least 80 games in every season.
 
The 1978 NBA champion with Wizards is a member of the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team, and is an inductee in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

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Moses Malone - 27,049

 
The late center achieved legendary status in both the American Basketball Association (ABA) and NBA while playing for nine teams including San Antonio Spurs and Philadelphia 76ers.
 
Malone, who sadly died in his sleep at the age of 60 in September 2015, ranks ninth in all-time career points and third in total rebounds (17,834) when combining his ABA and NBA statistics.
 
The three-time NBA Most Valuable Player was named in both the ABA All-Time Team and the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
 
"Moses holds a special place in our hearts and will forever be remembered as a genuine icon and pillar of the most storied era in the history of Philadelphia 76ers basketball."
 
"No one person has ever conveyed more with so few words - including three of the most iconic in this city's history," Philadelphia 76ers released the statement after Malone's death.
 

Shaquille O'Neal - 28,596

 
The Los Angeles Lakers legend is considered one of the greatest players in NBA history having played for six teams over his 19-year career.
 
O'Neal, who was blessed with the ability to dunk the basketball, ranks eighth in the all-time points scored, sixth in field goals, 15th in rebounds and eighth in blocks.
 
The retired center is also one of only three players to win the NBA MVP, All-Star game MVP and Finals MVP awards in the same year (2000) - alongside Willis Reed and Michael Jordan.
 

Wilt Chamberlain - 31,419

 
The accomplished player is considered one of the greatest centers in the history of the NBA having turned out for the Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers.
 
Chamberlain, who holds numerous NBA records in scoring, rebounding and durability categories, is the only player in history to average at least 30 points and 20 rebounds per game in a season (doing it seven times).
 
He is the only player to score 100 points in a single NBA game or average more than 40 and 50 points in a season. He died due to a heart problem in Bel-Air, California in October 1999.
 

Dirk Nowitzki - 31,560

 
The Dallas Mavericks legend spent his entire 21-year NBA career with one team and is widely regarded as one of the greatest power forwards of all time.
 
Hailing from Germany, Nowitzki, who is considered by many to be the greatest European player of all time, is the highest-scoring foreign-born player in NBA history with 31,560 points.
 
He is the first Maverick voted onto an All-NBA Team and holds several all-time Mavericks franchise records. He retired in 2019.
 

Michael Jordan - 32,292

 
The basketball icon is the greatest player of all time having accumulated a lot of success during his time with Chicago Bulls in the 1980s and 1990s.
 
Jordan holds the NBA records for highest career regular season scoring average (30.12 points per game) and highest career playoff scoring average (33.45 points per game).
 
His accomplishments include six NBA Finals Most Valuable Player awards, ten scoring titles (both all-time records), five MVP Awards and ten All-NBA First Team designations.
 

Kobe Bryant - 33,643

 
The late shooting guard played his entire 20-season professional career in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers and is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.
 
Bryant, who sadly died in a helicopter crash in January 2020, led the NBA in scoring during two seasons, ranks fourth on the league's all-time regular-season scoring and all-time postseason scoring lists.
 
The 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player became the youngest player in league history to reach 30,000 career points at the age of 34 years and 104 days of age.
 
"When I was a kid, when I was in high school, when I was growing up through the ranks, when Kobe came into the league, he was the man. It wasn’t a dream of mine to come straight from high school at that point in time to the NBA, but for a 17-, 18-year old being able to make that leap is pretty damn cool," LeBron James said of Bryant on USA Today.
 

LeBron James - 34,087

 
The current Los Angeles Lakers small forward is considered by some as the greatest basketball player of all time having dominated the NBA in the last 11 years.
 
James is the only player in NBA history to post 30 or more points and shoot over 60 percent for six consecutive games in a single season, hence he is placed third on the all-time leading scorers' list.
 
He holds the all-time record for playoff points, is third in all-time points and eighth in all-time assists.
 
He looks destined to leapfrog the two men above him.
 

Karl Malone - 36,928
 

The basketball legend is considered one of the greatest power forwards in NBA history having played for Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers.
 
Malone, whose 36,928 career points scored ranks second all-time in NBA history behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and holds the records for most free throws attempted and made.
 
The retired power forward is also tied for the second-most first-team All-NBA selections with Kobe Bryant.
 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - 38,387

 
The accomplished center played 20 seasons in the NBA for the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers.
 
Abdul-Jabbar, who retired in 1989 having won six NBA championships, is the NBA's all-time leader in points scored, field goals made (15,837), field goal attempts (28,307) and blocked shots (3,189).
 
He was a record six-time NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP), a record 19-time NBA All-Star, a 15-time All-NBA selection and an 11-time NBA All-Defensive Team member.
 

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Published: 05/04/2020