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The NBA’s top shooters

NBA star LeBron James of the LA Lakers breaks the 38,000-point mark and chases basketball legend Kareem-Abdul Jabbar’s all-time scoring record. Who are the most successful basket shooters? Who is in the top ten?

Basketball pro Stephen Curry smiles over his shoulder during a break in play and chews on his mouthguard

Stephen Curry – 21,067 points*

Probably no NBA professional masters the throw beyond the three-point line as well as he does. As of December 2021, Curry holds the all-time record for most three-pointers made. But the small guard of the Golden State Warriors is more than a long throw specialist. He has twice been voted the most valuable player in the league. He won the championship four times with Golden State. (*As of January 30, 2023)

Chicago Bulls' DeMar DeRozan makes a ball-in-hand shot for the basket during the game against Philadelphia

DeMar DeRozan – 21,083 points*

The Chicago Bulls’ small forward initially played for the Toronto Raptors for a long time, then for San Antonio. Compared to other top NBA scorers who are still active, DeRozan only shoots a few three-pointers. He prefers to score his baskets from half-distance or with drives to the basket. DeRozan is the 50th NBA pro to reach 20,000 career points. (*As of January 30, 2023)

Chris Paul in the Phoenix Suns jersey dribbles

Chris Paul – 21,365 points*

As a scorer, he has made it into the top 40 in the NBA, but his qualities as an assist provider are even greater. Paul, one of the shortest NBA players at 1.83 meters, is the third-best preparer in league history with over 11,000 assists. After stints in New Orleans, with the LA Clippers, in Houston and Oklahoma City, Phoenix is ​​his fifth NBA club. (*As of January 30, 2023)

Los Angeles Lakers jersey Russell Westbrook defends the ball from Oklahoma City Thunder's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Russell Westbrook – 24,039 points*

Westbrook is the NBA pro with the most triple-doubles, double digits per game, in three categories. At the beginning of his career, he formed a strong trio in Oklahoma City with James Harden and Kevin Durant, but they did not win the title. After stints in Houston and Washington, Westbrook is now with the Lakers. As a scorer, he has reached the top 30 in the NBA. (*As of January 30, 2023)

James Harden in the Philadelphia 76ers jersey

James Harden – 24,162 points*

The man with the beard is also making giant strides toward the top ranks of the basket hunter list. The opponents of “The Beard” are not to be envied. If you give him space, Harden hits the threesome. If you get closer, he dribbles past and moves to the basket. Harden is the 27th NBA pro to break 24,000 points. An end up? Not in sight! (*As of January 30, 2023)

Kevin Durant in the Brooklyn Nets jersey dribbles past an opponent

Kevin Durant – 26,684 points*

Despite his 2.08 meters, “KD” is an agile, elegant player. He won the NBA title with Golden State in 2017 and 2018. Before that, he was named Oklahoma City’s 2014 MVP of the season. He has been playing for the Brooklyn Nets since 2019 and has now climbed into the top 15 of the NBA scorers list. However, he keeps struggling with injuries. (*As of January 30, 2023).

Hakeem Olajuwon sits in a Houston Rockets track suit on a wall by the Thames in front of the Houses of Parliament

Hakeem Olajuwon – 26,946 points

A native of Nigeria, he is ranked 12th on the list as the best African. The elegant 2.13-meter center shaped the game of the Houston Rockets from 1984 to 2001. He won the NBA championship with the Rockets in 1994 and 1995 and was voted MVP in 1994. Hakeem “The Dream” has held US citizenship since 1993 and is a member of the US team at the 1996 Olympics.

Elvin Hayes throws a hook under the basket and is interrupted by a defender

Elvin Hayes – 27,313 points

In the 70s Elvin Hayes is one of the best players in the NBA. An elegant center who is always successful with his outstanding jump shot from the turn. “The Big E” led the Washington Bullets to the NBA Finals three times and won the championship with the capital team in 1978. Hayes clocked up exactly 50,000 minutes in 1,303 career games.

Moses Malone in the Atlanta Hawks jersey catches a rebound

Moses Malone – 27,409 points

In 1974, Moses Malone became the first player to go straight from high school to the pro league. The center experienced his most successful time with the Philadelphia 76ers, with whom he won his only championship in 1983. Malone has been playing professionally for 21 years and is signed to nine teams. He died in 2015 at the age of 60, apparently as a result of cardiovascular disease.

Carmelo Anthony in the Los Angeles Lakers jersey holds and strokes the ball

Carmelo Anthony – 28,289 points

The 2.03-meter tall forward, who has played in the NBA since 2003, has developed into a reliable long-range shooter over the years. After eight years in Denver, Anthony is playing six seasons for New York. He will join the Lakers in 2021 via Oklahoma City, Houston, and Portland. However, his contract in LA will not be extended in the summer of 2022.

Shaquille O'Neal in the Los Angeles Lakers jersey taking a jump shot

Shaquille O’Neal – 28,596 points

Size and power are two powerful arguments that make Shaquille O’Neal one of the best scorers in the NBA. The beefy 2.16-meter center scores almost all points from close range. His weakness in free throws is striking. Many opponents, therefore, make fouling O’Neal before the throw (“Hack-a-Shaq”) their tactic – O’Neal, active from 1992 to 2011, still mostly leaves the field as the winner.

Wilt Chamberlain in the Los Angeles Lakers jersey holds the ball in both hands

Wilt Chamberlain – 31,419 points

Before turning pro in 1959, Wilt Chamberlain played for the Harlem Globetrotters for a year. As a professional, he sets numerous point records. His mark from the game Philadelphia against New York in 1962 is unmatched. Chamberlain scores 100 points. A total of 118 times he manages 50 or more points in a game. In 1999 he died of heart failure at the age of 63.

Dirk Nowitzki in the Dallas Mavericks jersey during the jump shot

Dirk Nowitzki – 31,560 points

Unexcited, always modest, often not very spectacular, but most impressively sure, Dirk Nowitzki brings his throws to the finish line. An unequaled 21 seasons – from 1998 to 2019 – “Dirkules” are loyal to the Dallas Mavericks. In 2011 he won the championship with the Mavs. Nowitzki is the first European to break the 20,000-point mark and is the sixth NBA professional to break the 30,000 mark.

Michael Jordan in the Chicago Bulls jersey dunking

Michael Jordan – 32,292 points

“Air” Jordan already wore the 23 at college in North Carolina – he became a legend with the Chicago Bulls and won six titles. Jordan’s particular specialty is the “Buzzer Beater”, a decisive throw with the final siren. Jordan is still considered by many to be the “best basketball player of all time”. His numbers would have been even more gigantic if he hadn’t interrupted his career twice.

Kobe Bryant in the Los Angeles Lakers jersey laying up against multiple defenders

Kobe Bryant – 33,643 points

Not many basketball players can play as elegantly as the “Black Mamba”. The LA Lakers guard, who grew up in Italy as the son of a US basketball pro, has played in the NBA since 1996, always for the Lakers. He leads his team to five titles. At the age of 37, the back pinches, and after 20 seasons it was over in April 2016. Bryant died in a helicopter crash in 2020 at the age of 41.

Karl Malone in the Utah Jazz jersey holds the ball with one hand while pointing forward with the other

Karl Malone – 36,928 points

Nicknamed the “Mailman,” almost every mail he sends finds its target in the form of a thrown basketball. The beefy power forward has 18 seasons with the Utah Jazz and one year with the Lakers. He will never become a champion, but in 1992 he won the Olympics in Barcelona with the “Dream Team”. Bronze statues of Malone and his loyal assistant provider John Stockton stand in front of the arena in Salt Lake City.

Basketball Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James

LeBron James – 38,271 points*

Hardly any active NBA professional is as highly decorated as the forward, who has been playing for the Los Angeles Lakers since 2018. Four times the most valuable player in the league (MVP) and four times the MVP of the NBA Finals. James also won the championship title four times. 2012 and 2013 with the Miami Heat, 2016 with Cleveland, and 2020 with the Lakers. (*As of January 30, 2023)

Kareem Abdul Jabbar in the Los Angeles Lakers jersey throwing a hook

Kareem Abdul Jabbar – 38,387 points

Nobody is as successful as he is: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and his almost indefensible “Sky Hook” throw are legendary. Born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor and converted to Islam in 1971, Abdul-Jabbar played for the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers from 1969 to 1989. The 2.18-meter long center is six times champion, 19 times he is in the squad of the All-Star-Games.

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