At 29, James' numbers are off the charts

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...

MIAMI (AP) - If the number of an NBA player's birthday candles were proportionate to his point total, then Miami Heat star LeBron James would need help putting out the fire atop his red velvet cake.

The four-time MVP turns 29 on Monday, with 21,819 points.

No other NBA player has ever scored more points by that age.

43 PHOTOS
Lebron James
See Gallery
At 29, James' numbers are off the charts
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 1: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers calls out during a scrimmage at The Quicken Loans Arena on October 1, 2014 in Independence, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 1: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers high fives his teammates as he takes the court prior to a scrimmage at The Quicken Loans Arena on October 1, 2014 in Independence, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 1: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers dunks the ball during a scrimmage at The Quicken Loans Arena on October 1, 2014 in Independence, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
INDEPENDENCE, OH - SEPTEMBER 26: Kevin Love #0, Kyrie Irving #2 and LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers poses for a photo during media day on September 26, 2014 at the Cleveland Clinic Courts in Independence, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Gregory Shamus/NBAE via Getty Images)
INDEPENDENCE, OH - SEPTEMBER 26: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers answers questions during media day at Cleveland Clinic Courts on September 26, 2014 in Independence, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
AKRON, OH - SEPTEMBER 25: LeBron James joined Sprite to reveal two refurbished outdoor basketball courts with painted artwork by Futura at Patterson Park on September 25, 2014 in Akron, Ohio. (Photo by Duane Prokop/Getty Images for Sprite)
AKRON, OH - SEPTEMBER 25: LeBron James joined Sprite to reveal two refurbished outdoor basketball courts with painted artwork by Futura at Patterson Park on September 25, 2014 in Akron, Ohio. (Photo by Duane Prokop/Getty Images for Sprite)
INDEPENDENCE, OH - SEPTEMBER 26: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers poses for a photo during media day on September 26, 2014 at the Cleveland Clinic Courts in Independence, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Gregory Shamus/NBAE via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 6: NBA player LeBron James enjoys a laugh with friends on the sideline at Ohio Stadium during the game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Virginia Tech Hokies on September 6, 2014 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - JUNE 15: Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs hugs LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat at the end of Game Five of the 2014 NBA Finals at the AT&T Center on June 15, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - JUNE 15: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat and Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio Spurs embrace after the San Antonio Spurs victory in Game Five and winning the 2014 NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center on June 15, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade covers his face as teammate LeBron James watches the San Antonio Spurs beat the Heat, 104-87, in Game 5 of the NBA Finals at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, on Sunday, June 15, 2014. (Michael Laughlin/Sun Sentinel/MCT via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - JUNE 15: Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio Spurs and LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat match up during Game Five of the 2014 NBA Finals at the AT&T Center on June 15, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Chris Covatta/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - JUNE 15: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat drives to the basket against Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs during Game Five of the 2014 NBA Finals at the AT&T Center on June 15, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
The Miami Heat's LeBron James during practice at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Thursday, May 29, 2014, in preparation for Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers on Friday. The Heat have a 3-2 series lead. (David Santiago/El Nuevo Herald/MCT via Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS - MAY 28: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat addresses the media at the post game press conference after the game against the Indiana Pacers in Game Five of the East Conference Finals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on May 28, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and condition of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: 2014 NBAE (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - May 26: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat looks on before Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs against the Indiana Pacers at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida on May 26, 2014. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ron Elkman/Sports Imagery/ Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - May 26: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat looks on before Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs against the Indiana Pacers at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida on May 26, 2014. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ron Elkman/Sports Imagery/ Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 28: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat addresses the media after Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers during the 2014 NBA Playoffs on May 28, 2014 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
The Miami Heat's LeBron James during practice at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Thursday, May 29, 2014, in preparation for Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers on Friday. The Heat have a 3-2 series lead. (David Santiago/El Nuevo Herald/MCT via Getty Images)
The Miami Heat's LeBron James during practice at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Thursday, May 29, 2014, in preparation for Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers on Friday. The Heat have a 3-2 series lead. (David Santiago/El Nuevo Herald/MCT via Getty Images)
(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
(AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)
Miami Heat's LeBron James (6) stands on the court during team introductions before an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Bobcats, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Miami Heat's LeBron James (6) dunks against the Charlotte Bobcats during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Miami Heat's LeBron James warms up before an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
FThe Miami Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs 95-88 to win their second straight NBA championship. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)
James was announced Thursday, Dec. 26, as The Associated Press' 2013 Male Athlete of the Year, becoming the third basketball player to capture the award that has been annually awarded since 1931. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) reacts after being fouled during the second half in Game 7 of the NBA basketball championship against the San Antonio Spurs, Thursday, June 20, 2013, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Miami Heat's LeBron James gestures as the national anthem is played before Game 2 of the NBA Finals basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Sunday, June 9, 2013 in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Miami Heat's LeBron James (6) puts puts up a shot against Indiana Pacers' Roy Hibbert (55) during the first half of Game 4 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Tuesday, May 28, 2013, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) hangs from the basket after dunking the ball during the second half of Game 2 in their NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals playoff series against the Indiana Pacers, Friday, May 24, 2013, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Miami Heat's LeBron James (6) dunks against the Milwaukee Bucks during the first half of Game 4 in a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Sunday, April. 28, 2013, in Milwaukee. Giving chase are Bucks' Brandon Jennings (3), Ersan Ilyasova (7), of Turkey, and Heat's Shane Battier. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Miami Heat forward LeBron James, who did not play, celebrates after the Heat won an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013. The Heat won 108-107. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) dunks over Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer, left, and center Joakim Noah during the first quarter of Game 2 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday, May 18, 2011, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charlie Arbogast)
Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) dunks against the Washington Wizards during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) dunks the ball as New Orleans Hornets center Tyson Chandler (6) looks on in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 11, 2006, in Oklahoma City. The Hornets won 95-89. (AP Photo/Ty Russell)
Cleveland Cavalier's LeBron James readies to dunk on the Detroit Pistons in the first quarter in their NBA basketball game in Auburn Hills, Mich., Wednesday, April 12, 2006. James left the game in the third quarter after spraining his left ankle. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James goes up for a dunk on a first quarter breakaway against the Philadelphia 76ers Saturday, Nov. 15, 2003, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 28: Lance Stephenson #1 of the Indiana Pacers chases the ball against LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs on May 28, 2014 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - May 26: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat looks on during the game against the Indiana Pacers during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA playoffs at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida on May 26, 2014. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice: Copyright NBAE 2014 (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
LeBron James of the Miami Heat encourages his team during the first quarter in Game 5 of the NBA Finals at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, on Sunday, June 15, 2014. (Joe Cavaretta/Sun Sentinel/MCT via Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

Granted, the youngest-to-score comparisons are a terrible measure because not everyone enters the NBA at 18 like James. It took James 726 games to score 20,000 points; it took Wilt Chamberlain a mere 499. Michael Jordan had nearly 4,000 fewer points on his 29th birthday, neither Kareem Abdul-Jabbar nor Oscar Robertson were even to the 17,000-point mark yet and Karl Malone was still a few games shy of scoring his 15,000th point.

Still, where James is now begs the question: Exactly how high on the scoring list will he be before taking a jersey off for the last time?

He passed No. 30 Gary Payton and No. 31 Larry Bird on the career scoring list last week - in the same game, no less. He'll likely catch Clyde Drexler to become No. 28 sometime in January. It's not beyond realistic realms of possibility that James could be one of the game's top 10 career scorers by the end of the 2015-16 season.

By then, he'll only be 32.

And all the points have come with him often passing up shots for assists. He's currently nine shy of 5,500 of those for his career. Among players who were listed at 6-foot-8 or taller, only Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen, Bird and Abdul-Jabbar have more.

James often speaks of how he wants to be considered the greatest to ever play the game. The numbers suggest he's got a shot.

___

Five things to watch this week:

WEST POWERS: Portland at Oklahoma City on Tuesday night is the last West vs. West matchup of 2013. Maybe that's fitting, since it would seem like there's a real chance of these two being the last teams standing out West when the season ends.

HAWKS REELING: Atlanta was looking like the clear No. 3 team in the East behind Indiana and Miami, before Al Horford went down with another torn pectoral muscle. Facing Boston, Golden State and Chicago this week should offer some clues on how the Hawks plan to regroup.

LOVE ROLLING: Kevin Love has been MVP-worthy over his last 10 games for Minnesota. He's averaging 30.8 points and 14.1 rebounds over that stretch. This week, he and the Timberwolves stay home to see Dallas, New Orleans and Oklahoma City.

STEPH SIZZLING: He's still feared as a shooter, and now Stephen Curry is in another world as a passer. The Golden State star enters the week averaging 23.4 points and 9.6 assists. How many players have averaged that for a full season? Six, none since Tim Hardaway in 1991-92.

GRIZZLIES' CHANCE?: Memphis has four games this week, all against non-divisional opponents. Good thing: The Grizzlies are 0-8 against the Southwest, 13-8 vs. everyone else.

___

STAT LINE OF THE WEEK: Chris Bosh's 37-point, 10-rebound night in Portland on Saturday, leading Miami to a win even with James sitting out injured. Bosh's 3-pointer with 0.5 seconds left sealed it for the Heat.

Read Full Story

People are Reading