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Already near the top of the all-time leaderboards in numerous categories, LeBron James has passed some of the game’s greatest players, and even more legends are about to be bumped down the rankings. Here’s where the series stands:
Part I: James’ total regular-season and postseason minutes
Part II: James’ total blocks, steals and rebounds
Part III: James’ total assists and turnovers
Part IV: James’ advanced stats, including PER, win shares, VORP and box plus/minus
Part V: James’ total three-pointers and free throws
Part VI: James’ total points and field goals made
In Part VII of All the King’s Records, we look at where James could finish his career in total All-Star games and All-NBA teams.
Career All-Star Game Projections
When predicting James’ stats and awards both for this season and beyond, I’ve based his numbers on 71 games played per season, as that’s the average number of games he’s played over the past five years. That allows him to miss 11 contests per year for injury or rest.
His final career projections for all stats and awards came under the assumption he’ll play five more years, meaning a retirement at age 39 following 21 total seasons.
James currently sits in a four-way tie for third in career All-Star games, joining Tim Duncan, Shaquille O’Neal and Kevin Garnett with 15 total trips. James didn’t get named an All-Star as a rookie in 2003-04—that remains his lone year without an All-Star nod—but he had the fourth-most votes among all East guards. The Cavs were just 20-33 at the break, but James’ 20.4 points, 5.8 assists and 5.7 rebounds at the time were All-Star worthy. Despite not making the team, James did agree to play in the Rising Stars game, where he led all rookies with 33 points.
If James does play five more seasons, he’ll need to be named an All-Star every year to break Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time record of 19 appearances. Kobe Bryant is the only other player ahead of James, with 18 selections in his 20 total seasons. The ever-popular Bryant was voted a starter in the 1998 All-Star Game despite coming off the bench for the Los Angeles Lakers at the time, and he likely would have tied Abdul-Jabbar with 19 had the 1999 All-Star Game not been cancelled due to the lockout-shortened season.
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The only time Abdul-Jabbar missed the All-Star Game was during the 1977-78 season, when he was sidelined for 20 games after he broke his hand punching an opposing player two minutes into the season opener. Abdul-Jabbar was fined a then-record $5,000 of his estimated $600,000 salary.
As long as the league doesn’t have another lockout and James doesn’t throw any punches, he’ll have an advantage over the only two players he’s still chasing.
From a productivity standpoint, James doesn’t appear to be slowing down.
The 34-year-old forward averaged 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, 8.3 assists and 1.3 steals in 35.2 minutes per game last season, the 15th straight season he’s averaged at least 25.3 points. As long as he’s on the court, James will likely put up All-Star-worthy numbers over the next five years.
Even if his production pl