Two absolute legends shared a moment on Tuesday night as current Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. It was a truly special moment in time as two different generations came together out of admiration and respect.
Kareem has held the NBA scoring record since 1984 and for a while, it felt like it was never going to be broken. But LeBron has put forth a career unlike anything the world has ever seen and to break that record in a Lakers uniform just brings to light the specialness of this franchise.
Now in the aftermath of that event, Abdul-Jabbar has written about his feelings on everything surrounding James breaking his record. On his personal Substack, the Lakers legend re-iterated that he is happy for LeBron passing him:
In the months leading up to LeBron breaking my record, so much was written about how I would feel on the day he sank that record-breaking shot that I had to laugh. I’d already written several times stating exactly how I felt so there really wasn’t much to speculate about. It’s as if I won a billion dollars in a lottery and 39 years later someone won two billion dollars. How would I feel? Grateful that I won and happy that the next person also won. His winning in no way affects my winning.
As he has said previously, Abdul-Jabbar has no ill feelings toward James for breaking his record and is happy for his success. The former Lakers center noted that a record like this being broken is inspiring to witness for the world and that he is no longer focused on his basketball legacy.
There have been some questions about the relationship between Kareem and LeBron however, and for that, the former put all the blame on himself:
LeBron said we don’t have a relationship. He’s right—and for that I blame myself. Not for anything I did, but perhaps for not making more of an effort to reach out to him […] I think the main reason that I never formed a bond with LeBron (again, entirely my fault) is simply our age difference. I established my scoring record in 1984—the year LeBron was born. When he started to make a name for himself, I was already pretty removed from the NBA world.
It is amazing that Kareem took over the scoring record the same year that the man who would surpass him was born. It is something that is not discussed often, but is unbelievable when you think about it. But despite their lack of a relationship, Abdul-Jabbar made it clear that he has the utmost respect for James:
Bottom line about LeBron and me: LeBron makes me love the game again. And he makes me proud to be part of an ever-widening group of athletes who actively care about their community.
On a night that was so historic, it really meant a lot for the entire Laker and NBA family to see Abdul-Jabbar and James embrace the way they did.
Lakers LeBron James reflects on all he has sacrificed to break Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s scoring record
To accomplish a record of this magnitude takes an unbelievable amount of time, dedication and perhaps most of all, sacrifice. Lakers star LeBron James has surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the league’s all-time leading scorer and afterward, he reflected on all he has sacrificed to get to this point.
LeBron spoke about his upbringing in Akron, Ohio and the road traveled, but also noted that the thing he has sacrificed most is time with his family and that he couldn’t have done this without them.
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