On Tuesday, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James set a new record for the most career points scored in the NBA — breaking a record set by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a former Laker who had passed previous record-holder Wilt Chamberlain in 1984.
Americans do not expect James to hold on to his title for as long as Abdul-Jabbar did, according to a new YouGov poll of more than 7,000 U.S. adults. Most people (53%) expect that James' record will be surpassed by another player within 30 years; only 9% say it will take longer or never happen, and 38% are unsure. People who are very interested (78%) or somewhat interested (69%) in the NBA expect that there will be a new player who earns the all-time scorer title within 30 years.
Abdul-Jabbar was in the arena as James broke the record and congratulated him during an in-game ceremony by handing off the basketball that James shot to break the record.
By a margin of 48% to 25%, Americans say that if they personally broke a record, they would want to witness someone else passing them in their lifetime. More than one-quarter (28%) are uncertain. People who are interested in the NBA are more likely to say that they would want to see someone else break their record — though it's worth noting that this question was asked just after Abdul-Jabbar showed up to see his record broken.
— Taylor Orth and Carl Bialik contributed to this article
See the results from this poll:
- Last night, LeBron James set a new NBA record for most career points scored, breaking the record set by Kareem Abdul‑Jabbar 38 years ago. How long do you think it will be before another player passes James on the all-time scoring list?
- If you personally broke a record, would you want to see someone else pass you in your lifetime?
- How interested, or not, are you in the NBA (for example watch on TV, listen to on radio, attend in-person, follow on internet or social media)?
Methodology: This Daily Questions survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 7,808 U.S. adults interviewed online on February 8-9, 2023. The samples were weighted to be representative of the U.S. population, based on gender, age, race, education, U.S. census region, and political party.
Image: Getty Images (Ronald Martinez)