It’s not a question if LeBron James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for first place on the NBA’s all-time leading scorers list. James is just 1,326 points away from being inducted into the Hall of Fame and Los Angeles Lakers legend. night. If he averages about the same number of points as he did last season with the Lakers, James could break the record sometime in the middle of the season, as long as he stays healthy.
It’s a welcome moment ahead of the season, but as far as LeBron’s thoughts and relationship with Abdul-Jabbar, he doesn’t have much to say about it. After the Lakers’ first preseason game on Monday night, a reporter asked James what he thought of the Lakers legend and if they were in any relationship, to which LeBron gave a very short response.
“No thoughts and no relationship,” James said.
Although at that moment James had nothing to say, he unveiled a bit more at Media Day when asked about possibly breaking Abdul-Jabbar’s record.
“To sit here and know that I am on the verge of breaking what is probably the most coveted record in the NBA, something that people have said that will probably never be done, I think that is just very humiliating for me. I think it’s super cool. Obviously Kareem was at odds with some of my views and some of the things I do, but at the end of the day, listen to be able to be in the same breath with a guy who wears the same uniform,” James said.
“The guy who was one of the main elements of this franchise, along with Magic [Johnson]Big game [James Worthy] been there for so many years, especially in the 80s, and a guy who also does a lot off the stage, I think it’s just super duper dope for me to even be in that conversation.”
Abdul-Jabbar has criticized James in the past, especially for comments he made regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in which LeBron shared an Instagram meme last year that compared COVID-19 to the flu or a cold. Abdul-Jabbar also took issue with LeBron supporting Andrew Wiggins last season after the Golden State Warriors forward had previously resisted the COVID-19 vaccination. Abdul-Jabbar said that James should be “embarrassed” because of “some of the things he did” after which he later .
“I didn’t mean to criticize LeBron in any way,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “He has done so much for the black community and also for the basketball game. We may not always agree, but I want to apologize to LeBron from the bottom of my heart and let him know that I have the utmost respect for him. And if he can accept it, I will be very happy.”
While James and Abdul-Jabbar may not have a close relationship, they will be inextricably linked over the course of the season as James grows closer and inevitably exits the Hall of Fame for this record.