Frank Vogel, who has coached LeBron James two seasons in a row, knows the drill.
Vogel will be notified by a public relations officer when James, the Los Angeles Lakers' superstar, is about to reach a statistical milestone that will further enhance his decorated career.
Vogel, who has been through the process many times since 2019, said that "Our PR team will more than anyone let us know, "Hey, this person is going to pass this person," with these points or rebound or whatever. You see it sometimes on social media."
Vogel recognizes the accomplishments, but Vogel doesn't make grand gestures. He also acknowledges that James (36 and entering his 19th season) is perfectly content with the understated.
Vogel stated, "Nothing in an office capacity, but you congratulate him when it happens." It's true, he is more in the moment than focusing on the big picture. I think it's more of a reflect-after-the-fact type of thing and when you cross those milestones, you feel good about it.
"But, you won or lost a match last night. What's next? Practice tomorrow. These are the types of things you should do. He stays present a lot."
James has stated repeatedly that he will not look at the rearview mirror until he retires. At that point, Maverick Carter, his business partner and longtime friend, will share stories and reminisce while uncorking wine bottles.
They might be tempted to buy another bottle of wine this season depending on what happens. Here are some of the next achievements James might achieve in 2021-22.
James was able to pass Hall of Fame guard Allen Iverson on 2015's all-time scoring lists. He also took a dig at the way the media described his game in the early stages of his career. James stated, "For someone who's not much of scorer -- like you guys have called me -- it's pretty cool."
Although journalists were wrong about this, one common trope that talking heads repeated is that James is 6-foot-9 and 250 pounds. He is a point guard in Karl Malone's body.
All-time scoring: LeBron closes in on No. 2 Name Points Kareem Abd-Jabbar 38.387 Karl Malone 36.928 LeBron James 35.367 Kobe Bryant 33.643 Michael Jordan 32.292 Entered the 2021-22 season
He's within reach to surpass his body double to be No. This season, he is No. 2 on the all time scoring list. James is currently 1,561 points behind Malone. He will pass Malone on this list if he plays in all games and averages 25 point per night, which is in line with his average over the past two seasons. 63 vs. Golden State on March 5.
To pass Hall of Fame great Kareem Abdel-Jabbar (38,387 points) for No. 1.
James will be moving up on a few longevity lists, while the all-time scoring listing celebrates offensive skill over the years. He can jump from 19th to tie with Tim Duncan for 10th place on the all time games played list, which currently has 1,392. James will jump to No. if he plays 1,314 minutes more. 6 to No. 6 to No.
James enters the season with 12,903 field goals. He is third behind Malone, Abdul-Jabbar. Malone would require 625 goals to surpass him, which is reasonable considering he only had 643 field goals in 2019-20. However, James is still far behind Abdul-Jabbar who has 2,934 made field goals more than James. To pass Malone, he would need to average nearly nine points per game over four seasons.
James, who has 25,604 attempts, is fourth in all-time attempts. He'll surpass Malone and Kobe Bryant with 607 more attempts in this season. He is still 2,703 attempts away from Abdul-Jabbar, who holds the all-time record.
James currently ranks fourth among all-time missed field goal records. He can clank 718 more to surpass Elvin Hayes, the Hall of Fame star and Celtics legend, and move behind Bryant (second with 13,296 missed shots) and John Havlicek, who is second with 13,417).
Karl Malone is close to LeBron James as the No. 2 all-time NBA scorer. Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images
THREES AND FREES
James' game has also experienced a 3-point revolution in the NBA over the past decade. He had career highs in volume (2.3) as well as takes (6.3), which he achieved from just 3 years ago.
James once said to ESPN, "Once you're in the gym I'm at your range."
His achievements have increased. This season, he entered with 1,979 3s made. He is now 13th all-time and fourth among active players. Damian Lillard (10th), James Harden (5th), and Stephen Curry (2nd) are above him. To pass Nowitzki, he needed four more triples (which he did in Tuesday's season opener), and five more to pass Kidd. James's highest number of 3s in a single season is 149. If he can get 165 this season, he will pass Paul Pierce to become No. 9.
James is fifth in free throws made with 7,582 but he's shooting below 70% the past three seasons. He also averaged just 5.7 attempts per games last season, which is a career low.
To pass Hall of Fame point guard Oscar Robertson, he must make 113 throws from the line. It is unlikely that he will be the all-time free throw king. Malone holds the all-time record of 2,250 free throws. To catch him, he would need to make six free throws per game for 368 games or four and a quarter seasons.
ASSISTS, REBOUNDS AND TRIPLE-DOUBLES
James is already in the top 10 for all-time assists. He started the season ranked No. 8, with 9,696. He will become the seventh player to reach 10,000 assists, surpassing Robertson (9.887).
He can surpass Steve Nash, Mark Jackson, and Magic Johnson to reach the top five with 640 assists. He'll be following his friend Chris Paul, who was fifth in the league with 10,225 assists.
James's rebounding record is 42nd, which is quite average compared to other achievements. He'll be ahead of Shawn Marion and Red Kerr in the top 40 by grabbing 400 rebounds.
He can add rebounds and assists to further differentiate himself. He'll be the first player to surpass the 10,000 mark in each category with 249 more rebounds, and 304 more assists.
His next triple-double would be his 100th, making him the fifth player to achieve that feat, joining Robertson, Kidd, Robertson, and Russell Westbrook. He would break the tie with Elgin Baylor to record his next triple-double, which would make him the second most prolific Lakers player (James had 26 in his three previous seasons). Johnson is only behind him.
James regrets not being awarded Defensive Player Of The Year. He brought up the topic last offseason, after Marc Gasol was signed by the Lakers. James stated that Marc has his Defensive Player-of-the Year trophy at home. This was referring to 2012-13, when James finished second to the big man.
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The stats show that Andre Iguodala, the man whose most memorable play was on the defensive end in 2016 NBA Finals, is a great stopper.
James is ranked 13th on the all time steals list. He will be moving up to No. With 50 more swipes, James will pass Malone (11th), and Mookie Blaylock (12th) to move up to No. 10. To make his career total 2,163, he will surpass Hakeem Olajuwon, a two-time DPOY nominee, for ninth.
James also ranks 104th on all-time blocks with 982, and has 26 more swats, one more than last year's total. He can comfortably climb into the top 100, passing the likes Mike Gminski and Emeka Okafor as well as Bobby Jones, John Salley and John Andersen.
LeBron James could see his statistical strength increase if he has a deep run in the playoffs. Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images
James, who had already succeeded Michael Jordan as the top postseason scorer in 2017, told ESPN at the beginning of training camp that he is still passionate about adding to his four championships to try and get closer to Jordan's six.
James stated that he still has a burning desire to win the Larry O'Brien's Trophy at season's end.
He can consolidate his statistical strength on the record books as he works his way to the title.
James is already No. James, who is already No. 1 in points and playoff games, field goals, minutes, field goal free throws, steals, and turnovers can rise to the top of postseason triple-doubles with three more to surpass Johnson (who has 29 to James' 28).
James is also second in playoff 3, only 38 behind Stephen Curry, who is No. 1. Curry's career has a lot to go, but James' team may be more suited to deeper runs than the Golden State Warriors in the short-term. James has made 38+ 3s in one postseason three times during his career (2017-2018 and 2020).
He is second in playoff assist with 1,919 but it's less likely that he will catch Johnson for No. 1. To break the record, he would need to average seven assists in 61 playoff games.
James has 2,381 career playoff rebounds and James could be one of the best centers in postseason boards with the Lakers' Finals push. He would be No. 6 to No. 6 to No.
Vogel, James' team and the L.A. PR personnel will closely monitor these benchmarks which are within the reach of the four-time champion.
Carmelo Anthony, Lakers forward, said that he tries to give people flowers. You have to. Every achievement, especially those that the guys in this team can achieve or have the chance to accomplish, is something you must celebrate. These moments should be celebrated. You shouldn't overlook them and take them for granted.