LeBron James is bound to have his name near the top of several all-time leaderboards once he retires. Tonight, during the Los Angeles Lakers’ game against the Memphis Grizzlies, he caught Karl Malone on the all-time leaderboard. Though, it may not be the one you were thinking of.
James surpassed Malone to reach 11th place on the all-time regular-season steals leaderboard. He accomplished this feat in a steal-happy game, as Memphis tied a franchise record for steals in a quarter as they took a lead into halftime against Los Angeles.
James has averaged at least 1.1 steals per game in every season of his 19-year career, peaking at 2.2 steals per game in the 2004-05 season. He has ranked in the top 20 in total steals in 12 seasons. Chris Paul is the only active player who has more.
Obviously, the more interesting leaderboard where James is tracking down Malone is the all-time scoring leaderboard. The King still trails the Mailman by over 1,200 points. As he continues to battle Father Time, James misses games repeatedly but he has the potential to catch Malone’s points total this season. If he is able to play in every Lakers game after tonight, he needs to average just under 22 points to move into second place all-time on the scoring leaderboard.
The Lakers were 13-12 entering their game against the Grizzlies. James has been on a tear as of late, scoring 30 points in four of Los Angeles’ last five games.