Playing at such an elite level in Year 19, LeBron James has found himself making history almost every game.
James’ productivity and longevity have allowed him to climb up the ranks of every major statistical category. He seems to be on a crash course to pass up Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. The 37-year-old got one step closer to accomplishing that feat as he surpassed Karl Malone for No. 2 on the list in the Los Angeles Lakers loss to the Washington Wizards.
Carmelo Anthony, who sits at No. 9 all-time on the scoring list, was happy and proud of his friend, but he had to admit that he did not see James getting this close to Malone and Abdul-Jabbar.
“I’m still in awe to be alongside him while he’s still doing what he’s doing at that high level, especially coming from somebody who’s not ‘known for, as they say, scorer.’ Somebody who has a chance to be the No. 1 all-time leading scorer in the history of the NBA,” Anthony said. “Somebody who been doing it for 19 seasons at an all-time high and somebody who just embrace the moment. That’s what he’s been doing his whole career. He’s doing it now.
“For him to pass Karl Malone on that list. I remember when I was young, I used to look at that list and was like, ‘Nobody catching Karl Malone. Nobody catching Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar],’ but when you in it quick time, you see it, and you take your hat off to LeBron for what he’s able to do and what he’s been doing.”
For all the talk about James being a better passer and playmaker, he has proven that he can score with the best of them. Early in his career, James made his living in the paint, where he overpowered defenders for layups and dunks, but as he has gotten older, he has leaned more on his jumper to help him score.
Against the Wizards, James led all scorers with 38 points and dazzled the crowd with an array of moves near the rim and deep 3-pointers. The star forward has had to carry the Laker offense for nearly the entirety of the 2021-22 season, and he has shown no signs of slowing down as they cling to their Play-In Tournament spot.
Even though Los Angeles struggles to win games, James shows the basketball world that he still has a claim as the NBA’s best player. Although James will not pass Abdul-Jabbar this season, it is only a matter of time before he is sitting alone at the top.
LeBron James has not lost joy of competing despite losing
The season has certainly taken a toll on the Lakers franchise and their fan base with the constant losing. While a championship may be out of the picture now, James said he has yet to lose the joy he has in competing on a night-to-night basis.
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