As far as age goes, LeBron James is turning the corner. December 30 marks the Cleveland star's 30th birthday, a significant mile marker for the NBA's best player.
James is no longer a rising star or even merely an NBA star -- he could walk away today and his legend status would be cemented. James already has the numbers to make the Hall of Fame -- five NBA Finals appearances, two rings and a scoring tally that already ranks among the top 25 all time.
But LeBron isn't done yet. And, as NBA.com points out, James has a serious shot at setting some all-time marks in the NBA. His 23,901 points scored is the most of an NBA player before his 30th birthday. Kobe Bryant is the second-closest at 21,619, and he only played five fewer games than James at that point.
Granted, James had the luxury of playing 328 more NBA games before 30 than Wilt Chamberlain, who managed a ridiculous 39.6-point average and sits less than 2,500 points behind James at the 30-year mark. LeBron won't be coming close to Wilt's per-game average, but in terms of capturing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's all-time scoring mark, LeBron is well ahead of the pace -- he's more than 5,200 points ahead of Abdul-Jabbar.
To hit that mark, though, James won't only need greatness -- he'll also need longevity. Abdul-Jabbar scored the majority of his NBA points after his 30th birthday. NBA.com notes that among the Top 50 NBA scorers who are currently retired, that group scored a little more than 40 percent of its points after those players hit their 30th birthday.
If LeBron holds to that trend, he could be on pace to break Abdul-Jabbar's record and top 40,000 career points. James even has a chance of landing in the top five all-time for assists.
That's far from a guarantee, since there's a lot of points yet to be scored. And it could depend on when James decides to retire from the game, not to mention his physical health. But as it stands, no one in NBA history has scored more points faster than LeBron James.
Happy birthday, old man.