CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James never imagined the view from 30,000 — points.
Now in his 15th season, James needs 41 points to become the seventh NBA player — and youngest — to reach 30,000 career points, a mark he couldn’t have fathomed when he began his career.
James is on the verge of joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 points), Karl Malone (36,928), Kobe Bryant (33,643), Michael Jordan (32,292), Wilt Chamberlain (31,419) and Dirk Nowitzki (30,808) on the select list of scorers.
“I’m joining elite company,” James said Thursday as the Cavaliers prepared to host the Orlando Magic. “When I walk into the 30,000-point club they’re going to look at me like, ‘What are you doing here?’ I ain’t supposed to be there.”
James, who turned 33 on Dec. 30, will surpass Bryant as the fastest player to hit 30,000. Bryant was 34 years and 104 days old when he hit the mark.
But as he approaches more history, James isn’t in any rush. While 41 points is reachable for him in any game, James would prefer to join the 30,000-point club on Saturday when the Cavs host the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“Hopefully I don’t do it tonight because my kids got school tomorrow,” James said. “Hopefully I’ll wait (until) Saturday. They can come to the weekend games. So, that would be pretty cool.”
James’ two sons, Bronny, 13, and Bryce, 10, typically attend weekend home games.
But even if they come to the game, James isn’t so sure they’ll be impressed by dad’s accomplishment.
“Absolutely not,” James said, smiling. “They could care less.”
For James, seeing his name alongside some of the game’s all-time greats is meaningful.
“It’s not up there in the goals I set out for myself to be in this league,” he said. “I definitely looked at the list and saw the list and seen of all the guys that have played in this league, and the number of guys that have played in this league, it’s definitely a select few. It’s a select company. So it’s special in that right.
“But I can honestly sit here and say that I’ve never set out to set scoring records or be a part of a scoring club.”