NBA: Nowitzki believes LeBron James can catch Kareem after overtaking him for sixth place on scoring list

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki said Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James has a chance of becoming the greatest scorer in NBA history.
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki said Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James has a chance of becoming the greatest scorer in NBA history.PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - German National Basketball Association star Dirk Nowitzki says he sees no reason why LeBron James cannot finish up as the greatest scorer in NBA history.

"If he stays healthy, the way he's looking and moving, he has a chance at Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar)," the Dallas Mavericks player told American sports broadcaster ESPN.

"His numbers have been unbelievable. He doesn't seem to slow down. The stuff he was doing last year, in year 15, was incredible. If he keeps this up, he can pass Kareem," who scored a total of 38,387 points.

James finished with 35 points against the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday (Oct 27) night to pass 40-year-old Nowitzki for sixth place on the all-time scoring list and became the game's active overall points leader. He needed 21 points to surpass and now has a total of 31,202 points.

The 33-year-old recorded his 21st point on a 17-foot jumper from the right side with 7:51 left in the third quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers' 110-106 loss to the Spurs.

He also passed Shaquille O'Neal for sixth on the all-time field goals list in the third quarter. In his 19-year career, O'Neal finished with 11,330.

"Dirk has always been one of my favourite players. Shaq is the most dominant player to ever play this game," said James.

"So to be in the same conversation as those guys is a tribute."