Lakers News: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Believes LeBron James Has Nothing Left To Prove In NBA
Kareem Abdul Jabbar LeBron James Lakers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James surpassing another Lakers legend in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer was truly one of the most special NBA moments this season. For a long time, it seemed impossible that Kareem’s record would be broken, but LeBron’s consistency throughout his career has now pushed him to the top of that list.

James has now finished his 20th NBA season, the same number in which Abdul-Jabbar played before calling it a career. Of course in the immediate aftermath of the Lakers season ending, LeBron suggested he would consider retiring this summer and according to Dan Woike of the L.A. Times, Kareem believes that choice should be up to James alone as he has nothing to prove to anyone:

“I think it’s up to him. Certainly doesn’t have to prove anything. And it’s just what he wants to do at this point.”

LeBron is the most accomplished NBA player every with all of the awards and accolades he has compiled over his career. At this point, Kareem is right in that he has nothing to prove, his legacy speaks for itself and whether or not he should continue playing is solely a matter of what he wants.

In the lead-up to James passing Abdul-Jabbar on the scoring list, it was brought up that the two didn’t really have much of a relationship. And while that remains the case, Kareem insists that there is nothing but respect and admiration between them:

“I’ve never had a chance to talk to LeBron other than two or three minutes,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “There’s no animosity or resentment there at all. He’s done remarkable things. He deserves all the accolades, whatever it is, that he’s accomplished. … We might get the chance [to speak]. I certainly wouldn’t be against it. As far as where his heart is and the things that he does, I’ve got nothing but admiration for him.”

There is always a certain level of respect between the true legends and greats of the game and that is undoubtedly the case between Abdul-Jabbar and James. And with LeBron’s career surely winding down, the question of whether he would want some sort of sendoff season tour like Kareem and Kobe Bryant had is unclear. Getting the love and respect from all of the teams and fans sounds great, but Abdul-Jabbar also admitted that it was a bit of a distraction for him:

“It was hard to deal with all the tributes. It was kind of a distraction,” he said. “But it also was people that might’ve always wanted to boo me try and show their appreciation. I really felt that I had to return that. It was a good experience even though it, at times, kind of wore on me.

Whether or not he receives it by announcing his final season prior to it taking place, there is no doubt that James is more than deserving of all the praise and adulation he would receive in such a situation as one of the greatest players to ever play the game.

Rich Paul on whether LeBron James will retire from Lakers: “We’ll see”

While the general consensus is that James will suit up for the Lakers next season, it is still unknown, even from one of LeBron’s closest confidants in agent Rich Paul.

When Paul was asked about LeBron’s potential retirement, he didn’t have a concrete answer either, simply noting that he has an expectation but doesn’t know for sure before ending it by saying “we’ll see.”

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