LeBron James made his NBA debut against Sacramento Kings, playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers on October 29, 2003. However, the Cavaliers lost that game to the Kings despite a remarkable performance from LeBron James as he slammed 25 points. Meanwhile, the NBA’s all-time scoring list had 2708 players ahead of him that evening, and till today he has caught 2707.
The Crown Getting Passed
Meanwhile, on the NBA’s career scoring ladder, only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who has held the top spot since April 5, 1984, is still ahead of James. His winning streak will end a Los Angeles Lakers hand the championship to another player with just 1,326 more points.
“To sit here and to know that I’m on the verge of breaking probably the most sought-after record in the NBA, things that people say will probably never be done, I think it’s just super, like, humbling for myself,” LeBron James said. “I think it’s super cool.”
At the time of publishing, James had amassed 37062 while the legend Abdul-Jabbar had grabbed 38387 points. However, James is 49 games away from becoming the best player in the world at his career rate of 27.1 points per game. Meanwhile, if he scores at his last year’s 30.3 points per game rate, he will be 44 games away from the milestone.
Such a Willing and Gifted Passer
The initial target timeframe is mid-to-late January if James doesn’t miss any games. Meanwhile, he will go down in history as the most prolific scorer and one of the finest passers ever. Moreover, James is currently seventh all-time in assists but should go up to fourth by the end of the upcoming season.
“One of the things that are amazing about LeBron is he’s such a willing passer and such a gifted passer,” said Miami Coach Erik Spoelstra. “In many ways, that’s one of his most unique, special qualities. And yet, he’s going to break the all-time record for scoring — and that can be a secondary skillset for him. That’s crazy.”
The 20th season
Abdul-Jabbar participated in 20 NBA seasons during their entire basketball career. Meanwhile, James is now entering his 20th NBA season. Meanwhile, they present their arguments in various ways. James, for instance, has 6,420 career points from the 3-point range. On the contrary, Abdul-Jabbar possesses 3.
Abdul-sky Jabbar’s hook swept the NBA right from his debut. In his first six seasons and throughout his career, he averaged 30.4 points a game. However, in his final three seasons, he only scored 14.1 points per game.
Meanwhile, on the other hand, James hasn’t shown any decline. In his previous 18 seasons, he scored at least 25 points per game on average. However, before last season, only one player, Kobe Bryant, averaged more than 19 points in his 19th season, scoring 22.3 points in 2014–15.
No NBA Player Has Ever Had Such Sustained Excellence
“It’s always gratifying to know that the work you put in can have results,” James said. “I’ve never been a person that cheats the game. I’ve always put the work in.”
Meanwhile, James admitted that he “could envision” himself catching Abdul-Jabbar a few years ago, but he emphasized that it wasn’t a top goal. However, the Lakers had a terrible season last year and missed the playoffs despite winning the NBA championship in 2020; James wants to win a fifth ring and return to championship contention.
“LeBron is not from this planet,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. “That’s for damn sure.”
James and Abdul Jabbar’s relationship hasn’t always been easy. Meanwhile, during the Eastern Conference Finals of 2016, Abdul-Jabbar was outside the Cleveland locker room when James ran by. After stopping, the two embraced each other and exchanged some pleasant words. Moreover, later that night, James spoke about his admiration for Abdul-Jabbar and other trailblazers.
However, it hasn’t always been so easy in other chapters. Despite his occasional criticism, Abdul-Jabbar stated earlier this year that he has “deep admiration and respect for LeBron as a community leader and athlete. That hasn’t changed and never will.” Meanwhile, James recently declared that he and Abdul-Jabbar have “no relationship.”
“Obviously, Kareem has had his differences with some of my views and some of the things that I do,” LeBron said. “But listen, at the end of the day, to be able to be right in the same breath as a guy that wore this same uniform, a guy that was a staple of this franchise … and a guy that does a lot off the floor as well, I think it’s just super-duper dope.”
Until James break the record, they will be connected for the entire season. Meanwhile, the quest for the all-time triple-double record by Russell Westbrook appeared to raise awareness of Oscar Robertson’s prowess among a newer generation of NBA fans. However, James may very quickly do the same thing if he closes in on Abdul-Jabbar, whose last game was in 1989.
Abdul-Jabbar Will Profit From the Publicity
Meanwhile, the seven-time NBA champion Robert Horry, who played for the Lakers for seven seasons before becoming their commentator, expressed his optimism that Abdul-Jabbar will profit from the publicity the pursuit will bring.
“I look at Cap’s record as better than LeBron’s record because Cap didn’t shoot any 3s,” Horry said, referring to Abdul-Jabbar. “When you look at what LeBron’s been able to do, it’s amazing. I’m not taking anything away from LeBron. But you have to look at what Cap did and be like, ‘Man, this dude put in years in college, then he went to the pros and didn’t shoot any 3s and played at a time where the game wasn’t sped up like it is.’ Cap’s record is amazing.”
However, soon James will make it happen and maintain the record for many years.
“The way he’s always been a student of the game, the way he’s taken care of himself, you always knew he was going to play as long as he wanted,” said Spoelstra. “He hasn’t slowed down. He’s like Tom Brady. He literally can play until he decides, ‘All right, I feel like doing something else.’ And I don’t see that coming.”