Lakers: How Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Feels As LeBron James Nears His Scoring Record

The current regular season scoring leader discusses his successor.

Assuming he’s healthy today and Thursday, Los Angeles Lakers power forward LeBron James is going to set the all-time record in regular season NBA scoring at some point during LA’s next two games. Tonight, he is currently questionable to play (due to a sore left ankle) against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Thursday, provided James is health, he will square off against the current greatest player in the league (a title James held for probably 11 seasons, from 2008-2018), Giannis Antetokounmpo, and his Milwaukee Bucks.

The man who has held the record in league scoring is, naturally, another Lakers great, six-time NBA champ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Cap has led the league in cumulative regular season points scored since 1984. Abdul-Jabbar, by the way, leapfrogged a prior Lakers great, center Wilt Chamberlain, when he first set the new scoring record. Abdul-Jabbar wrapped up his 20-year NBA career with 38,387 total regular season points scored. James is right behind him and closing fast, currently just 35 points short of his record. Given that he averages 30 points a game this season, I think he’ll step up and get it done tonight, at home, against a very beatable club.

The six-time MVP, now 75, took Substack last year to reflect on this huge moment, which is happening, whether he likes it or not.

“When I broke Wilt Chamberlain’s scoring record in 1984 — the year LeBron was born — it bothered Wilt, who’d had a bit of a one-sided rivalry with me since I’d started doing so well in the NBA,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “I don’t feel that way toward LeBron. Not only will I celebrate his accomplishment, I will sing his praises unequivocally.”

Things have on occasion been icy between the two all-timers, but it’s nice to see that Abdul-Jabbar is proving supportive here. Whenever it happens, it will be a special occasion for Lakers fans.

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