One of the best things about Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James’ chase to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer is that it has caused many to go back and realize just how amazing and dominant Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was during his playing days.
Kareem has held the scoring record for nearly 40 years, surpassing another Lakers legend in Wilt Chamberlain back in 1984. And since that time, no one has even come close. Karl Malone had been the closest and he was still more than 1,400 points away while Kobe Bryant was more than 4,700 points away from the mark James is soon to eclipse.
When reflecting on the scoring record itself, James compared it to another record that was thought to be insurmountable in Hank Aaron’s Major League Baseball home run record. LeBron spoke about growing up and seeing the likes of Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire chase after that record and how fun that was to witness, much like his own chase, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“I think it’s one of the greatest records in sports in general. I think it’s up there with the home run record in baseball. It’s just one of those records that you just don’t ever see or think that will be broken. You had Hank Aaron that had it for so long and then you see the likes of like Sammy [Sosa] and Mark McGwire and those guys start climbing and it was like ‘oh man, this thing could really happen.’ And you start really watching it and paying attention to it and you seeing Sammy and Mark McGwire go up to bat and you’re like they got a chance to knock it out every single time. And it was fun for me as a sports person, it was fun just watching those guys go up to bat and chase it.
“I grew up being a historian of all sports and understanding that, I don’t have the number planted in my head, the actual real number. I know it’s 38-something, but I know it’s been Kareem my whole life. So it’s pretty cool, it’s pretty cool.”
The comparison actually does hold weight as like Kareem, Aaron broke the home run record held by Babe Ruth in 1974 and no one really came close for decades. It was eventually broken by the controversial Barry Bonds in 2007, but many of the all-time greats who came after Aaron, such as Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr. didn’t come within 50 homers of his record.
James is doing something that no one thought was possible by breaking this scoring record. The Lakers star may continue to downplay the pressure and emotions he is feeling as he approaches it, but that moment will be an absolute legendary one that all will remember.
Lakers’ game vs. Thunder to be televised nationally as LeBron James approaches scoring record
And with James nearing the record, the NBA is ensuring that everyone will be able to witness it when it occurs. The Lakers’ contest next Tuesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder, when most predict he will break the record, will now be a nationally televised game.
Additionally, the price to get in the building for the game is reportedly more than $400 as everyone wants to be in the building to witness history.
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