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LeBron James on the verge of even more career milestones

As he gathered with family for a holiday meal last week, LeBron James had plenty of reasons to give thanks.

The Los Angeles Lakers’ 34-year-old superstar has remained healthy so far this season after missing 27 games last year with a sprained left groin. The Lakers (17-3) are off to their best start since 2009-10 and have a good shot at winning an NBA championship for the first time since that season. And James already has played well enough in his 17th season that he believes he is currently playing his best basketball.

Here is something that might leave James feeling more grateful: He appears on the verge of adding more accomplishments to a Hall-of-Fame résumé that already includes three NBA championships, three Finals MVPs, four regular-season MVPs, 15 All-Star appearances and nine Finals appearances.

He needs 588 more points to pass former Lakers star Kobe Bryant for third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Should James maintain his season average of 25.7 points per game, he will surpass Bryant’s 33,643 career points in 23 games. Based on that timeline, James would pass Bryant in Brooklyn on Jan. 23. Should he stay mostly healthy and maintain his career scoring average (27.1), James would likely need to play at least two more seasons to top Karl Malone (36,928 points) for second and four more seasons to eclipse Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) as the NBA's all-time leading scorer.

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