No one has scored more N.B.A. points than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who has 38,387. He ranks first on the Milwaukee Bucks’ career list (with Giannis Antetokounmpo in hot pursuit) despite leaving after six seasons. Abdul-Jabbar is also in good company on the Lakers’ list, behind only Kobe Bryant and Jerry West, who spent their entire careers in Los Angeles.
The only players in the overall scoring top 10 not to lead a team are Shaquille O’Neal, whose prime years were divided among the Magic, Lakers and Heat, and Moses Malone, who played for seven N.B.A. teams (and two in the A.B.A.).
Even though O’Neal, Malone, and now Chamberlain are not among them, the roster of franchise scoring leaders are virtually all great players. Only two of those who are eligible are not yet in the Hall of Fame. And one of those, Walter Davis of the Suns, who made six All-Star teams and tallied 19,521 total points, maybe should be.
Perhaps the most forgotten team leader (could it be because of his common name?) is Randy Smith, who poured in 12,735 points for the Clippers franchise, mostly when they were the Buffalo Braves. Just a seventh-round draft choice, he wound up being known as the Iron Man for playing in 906 consecutive games (a record later broken by A.C. Green).
At the bottom of the team leaders chart are the Nets, who have suffered from not keeping their superstars around. Buck Williams left after eight seasons, Vince Carter after four and a half. Julius Erving remains the most famous Net for many, though he played with them for just three seasons, all in the A.B.A. Nevertheless, he’s seventh on their career scoring list when you include the A.B.A. seasons.
At the top of that list is Brook Lopez, whose 10,444 points for the Nets were 4 more than Williams’s. Lopez likely won’t be adding to that total, as he was traded away in 2017.