At some point this season, likely in February (health-pending), LeBron James will break Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time NBA scoring record of 38,387 points. It will be the latest accomplishment by James and another accolade in his favor in the never-ending GOAT debate, but an interesting subplot to it all is that there likely won’t be a grand passing of the torch moment from one of the all-time Laker greats to the current top star in L.A.
As LeBron stated bluntly prior to the season, there is “no relationship” between he and Abdul-Jabbar.
“No thoughts. And no relationship”
LeBron on chasing Kareem’s scoring record and if they have a relationship pic.twitter.com/yls2c1DJgF
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 4, 2022
As Magic Johnson laid out on Club Shay Shay with Shannon Sharpe, Kareem probably won’t be too celebratory when it happens. When Sharpe asked what how Kareem will take it, Magic noted simply, “not well,” which sent Sharpe into hysterics, but the two then get into discussing why that is.
Kareem has held that record for a long time, and as Magic explains, it’s not one he probably ever thought he’d lose. This isn’t to say Kareem won’t offer a cordial statement congratulating LeBron, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for him to be on hand like Reggie Miller and Ray Allen for Stephen Curry breaking the all-time three-pointer record, holding a special ceremony on the court.
It’s honestly understandable why Kareem wouldn’t exactly be thrilled to be pushed down to No. 2, because as Sharpe says, they don’t talk about No. 2 all that often. While Abdul-Jabbar rarely features into most GOAT debates, his spot on top of the all-time scoring list was one of the great notches in his favor, with that gone, it’s fair that he might have some fear his place in the game’s history won’t be as prominent as we grow further and further away from his playing career.