Luka Doncic’s meteoric rise up the record books continued on Friday as he made NBA history yet again. In what has been one of the best third seasons in league history, Doncic joined some very elite company with his scoring.
In the first quarter, Doncic, who entered the game with 4,993 points, reached his seventh point at the free-throw line. That gave him 5,000 for his career, a number that very few players of his age have ever reached. In fact, Doncic is the fourth-youngest player in NBA history ever to score 5,000 points. You’ve probably heard of the three players ahead of him: LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony.
While Doncic may only be the fourth-fastest player ever to reach the mark, he arguably should be higher. Remember, James was a year younger when he reached the NBA because the league still allowed players to make themselves eligible for the draft at 18. James, Anthony and Durant all played full 82-game seasons in their third years. Doncic only gets to play 72 this season, and because the season was delayed, he is older than he otherwise would be at this point in the season.
At 22 years, 68 days old, Doncic might have had a shot at James’ record had he entered the league at 18 and his season had begun on a typical timeline. Alas, it did not, so Doncic will just have to settle for fourth-place behind three Hall of Famers. There are far worse historical fates. Besides, at only 22 years old, Doncic still has plenty of time to chase their other records.