LeBron chasing 40,000 points: All milestones and anniversaries for the 2023-24 season

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As the NBA enters its 77th season and fans anticipate another exciting campaign, there’s always an additional buzz surrounding the significant milestones and anniversaries that are set to unfold in 2023-24.

Fans and players wait for the Damian Lillard and James Harden trade requests to be resolved. Both All-Stars are also chasing milestones as Lillard, the Portland Trail Blazers’ all-time leader in points and 3-pointers, is 169 assists away from topping the franchise record as well. Harden, amid the drama with the Philadelphia 76ers, could also earn a significant career record as he’s 220 3-pointers away from passing Ray Allen for second on the NBA’s all-time 3-pointers list.

From individual players etching their names into the record books, such as LeBron James and Russell Westbrook, to remembering iconic matchups and game-winning moments, here are the biggest milestones, streaks and anniversaries to look for in the 2023-2024 NBA season.

Milestones

Points leaders

James hit one of the biggest milestones in the NBA last season when he passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the all-time leading scorer. James has 38,652 points. This season he closes in on yet another record as he is 1,348 points away from scoring 40,000 points, which would stamp his name in the record books as the first player to hit the mark. This is a reasonable feat for the King to accomplish — last season he scored 1,590 points — and using James’ career average in points per game (27.2), he could reach this milestone by his 49th game this season.

Kevin Durant is also looking to leap up the all-time scoring leaderboard as he needs 518 points to pass Hakeem Olajuwon, Elvin Hayes and Moses Malone for the 10th-most points. Durant will look to settle into his second year with the Phoenix Suns as he spent a majority of last season dealing with injury and finishing with 208 points. If he can stay healthy, consistent and hit his career average in points per game (27.3), he will hit this mark by his 18th game of the season.

If Durant wants to break into the top 10, he will need 1,705 points to pass Shaquille O’Neal and Carmelo Anthony for eighth on the all-time scoring list. He could reasonably hit this mark by his 62nd game. However, Durant hasn’t played more than 55 games in a season since 2018-19.

Streaks in jeopardy?

Two of the biggest names in the league will look to maintain their respective scoring streaks.

James is entering his 21st season and has scored 10-plus points in 1,151 consecutive regular-season games. He will look to expand the longest streak in NBA history in the Los Angeles Lakers’ season opener on Oct. 24 against the defending champion Denver Nuggets.

Stephen Curry — who holds the record for 3-pointers (3,390) after surpassing Ray Allen in 2021 — will also look to increase his beyond-the-arc scoring streak. Curry has made at least one 3-pointer in 245 straight regular-season games, making it the longest 3-point streak in NBA history. In addition, he holds the record for multiple made 3-pointers, doing so in 56 consecutive regular-season contests. Curry and the Golden State Warriors open the season at home against the Suns on Oct. 24.

The importance of triple-doubles

Westbrook holds the record for the most career triple-doubles with 198. The All-Star point guard, entering his 17th season and first full one with the LA Clippers, is two triple-doubles shy of becoming the first player with 200.

The closest active player to Westbrook’s record is James, who has 107 triple-doubles and is only one shy of passing Jason Kidd for fourth place. However, 2023 Finals MVP Nikola Jokic is not far behind with 105.

Harden could also potentially move up the leaderboard; he is five triple-doubles away from passing Wilt Chamberlain for seventh on the list.

Anniversaries

From record-breaking wins to the most memorable game-winning shots, here are some historic moments being celebrated this season.

Five-year anniversary of San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich becoming the winningest coach in NBA history: On April 13, 2019, Popovich earned his 1,413th win, passing Lenny Wilkens, to become the NBA’s winningest coach. Popovich has been head coach of the Spurs since 1996 and has led the organization to five NBA championships. In early August, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He looks to lead the Spurs back into the playoffs this season after missing the past four postseasons.

20th anniversary of James’ (Cleveland Cavaliers), Carmelo Anthony’s (Nuggets) and Chris Bosh’s (Toronto Raptors) NBA debut: On Oct. 29, 2003, some of the most iconic players made their NBA debuts. James, the first overall pick in the 2003 draft, lived up to the hype, as the then-19-year-old put up 25 points, nine assists and four steals in a 106-92 loss to the Sacramento Kings. Anthony performed for 20 seasons, while Bosh played 13.

30th anniversary of Michael Jordan’s first retirement: On Oct. 6, 1993, Jordan announced for the first time he was ending his time in the NBA. After spending nine seasons with the Chicago Bulls, he announced an early retirement only four months after he led the Bulls to their third consecutive NBA championship — a six-game series victory over Charles Barkley and the Suns.

35th anniversary of “The Shot”: On May 7, 1989, Jordan hit his iconic buzzer-beater in the 1989 NBA playoffs. In a Game 5 matchup against the Cavaliers, Jordan received an inbound pass and delivered in the Bulls’ 101-100 win to clinch the series. Jordan famously leaped in the air and then punched his fist several times in celebration.



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