Throughout NBA history, there have been elite scorers. There are players that can score at will, and usually, it leads to success. Scoring is crucial (especially in today’s game), and it takes a special player to have incredible scoring performances. And it is even tougher to do it year after year. Here are the five players with the highest career points per game.
1.) Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan is often considered one of the greatest (if not the greatest) players to play the game. His ability to score and his will to win made him a special player that could change a game in an instant.
Jordan gave teams headaches with incredible performances, such as his 63-point game against the Boston Celtics. In 1986, a young Jordan was dealing with a broken foot. He missed 64 games that season, but returned late into the season. And he helped the Bulls make the playoffs.
The Bulls faced the Celtics in the first round, and despite being swept, Jordan and the Bulls showed they were a team on the rise. Jordan had 63 points in Game 2 as the Bulls lost 135-131 in double overtime. This was one of many classic performances from Jordan and showed his knack for scoring.
Jordan averaged at least 20 points per game every season of his career, and his 1986-87 was his best. He averaged 37.1 points while playing all 82 games. Jordan led the league in scoring 10 times during his career, and his career average was 30.12 points per game.
2.) Wilt Chamberlain
Wilt Chamberlain was a dominant center that was nearly impossible to stop. His 100-point game (mentioned in a previous article) is legendary and is a record that still stands today. Chamberlain also averaged an astonishing 50.4 points in the 1961-62 season, which is another record that has yet to be topped.
Chamberlain led the league in scoring eight times in his career, and his career average was 30.07 points per game. His average is extremely close to Jordan’s and shows how talented both players were.
3.) Elgin Baylor
Elgin Baylor is an underrated, underappreciated player that could score at will. His athleticism and ability to score off the dribble made him a threat to opposing teams, and his 71-point game against the Knicks proves that. Baylor also had 61 points in Game 5 of the 1962 NBA Finals.
Baylor’s best season (scoring wise) was his 1961-62 season, which was the same year Chamberlain averaged 50. Baylor averaged 38.3 points. This was the same year he was at Fort Lewis in Washington. Overall, Baylor had a nice career and had an average of 27.36 points per game. So, it is safe to say he was quite the player.
Baylor was an excellent scorer, and his style of play helped pave the way for some of the greats after him.
4.) Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant is an elite scorer that continues to shine. And despite him possibly switching teams in the near future, Durant will likely have another great season. Durant can flat out score, and it is no surprise that he is on this list.
Durant is a one-time MVP. He won the award in 2014, in a season where he averaged 32.0 points. The star forward also is one of the few active players climbing up the all-time scoring list. He is currently No. 21 on the list with a total of 25,526 career points. And with games like his career-high 55-point performance against Atlanta, he will continue to climb up the list.
Durant’s career average is 27.18 points per game.
5.) LeBron James
LeBron James just keeps getting better. At 37-years-old, James continues to play at a high level. He does a bit of everything, and scoring is one of his best attributes. James averaged 30.3 points last season, which wasn’t too far from his 2005-06 season, when he averaged 31.4 points.
James has a chance to make history as he has a chance to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. He has 37,062 total points. He is only 1,325 away from reaching Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (who has 38,387). James has a career points per game average of 27.13 points.
When it’s all said and done, James will probably rise on this list as well.
The NBA has had its share of great scorers and as time goes on, we will see more of them on lists like these.