LeBron James is king of the mountain – statistically speaking, argue among yourselves who is the greatest NBA player of all time. James broke the Kareem-Abdul Jabbar regular season scoring record that most NBA followers thought was impossible.
Abdul-Jabbar set the record in 1984 when he passed Wilt Chamberlain. He would continue to play until 1989, retiring from the NBA after scoring 38,387 points in 20 seasons.
Who could have ever predicted that someone could have the combination of talent and longevity to surpass that total? As hyped as James was in 2003 when he was drafted out of St. Vincent St. Mary in Akron, Ohio, no one on PTI or Around the Horn would have said he would one day break Abdul-Jabbar’s record.
This record was long overdue
Well, James is currently in his 20th NBA season and has done the unthinkable. He broke the record. With 10 seconds left in the third quarter on Tuesday, February 7, at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, James did just that. With a delay sweater. Kareem was sitting courtside and saw the whole thing.
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He deserves every superlative in the English language to describe what an extraordinary achievement this is.
In order to do this, James had to combine great talent, with consistent progress, excellent health and longevity that is rare among professional sports. He played 20 seasons in the NBA and is currently averaging 30 points per game while shooting 50.5 percent from the field.
At the age of 38, he is the leading vote-getter among current NBA All-Stars, and he is still expected to be the Lakers’ best playmaker. He has the fourth most assists in a regular season in NBA history behind only Chris Paul, Jason Kidd and John Stockton. James is currently second in average assists in the Lakers with 7.1 per game.
A Sports Illustrated cover was written about him when he was 16 with the words “The Chosen One” next to his name. It was at a time when that cover was one of the most prominent places for a professional athlete be represented. As a junior in high school, this was the kind of hype he sought to satisfy with his play.
Now that he’s the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, he says he is far exceeded the hype is now an objective statement.
James now has his place in the NBA world. A place where no one who has ever played in that league has been right now.
38,388 points and still growing.