Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has been nominated for Best Record-Breaking Performance at the ESPYS for passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the top spot on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. He broke the once unbreakable record on Feb. 7 against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
James hit a fadeaway from 18 feet out at the top of the key, giving him the two points he needed to surpass the 38,387 career points scored by Abdul-Jabbar over his Hall of Fame career. James then led a revamped Lakers team to the Western Conference Finals.
There are four nominees for the award, including Novak Djokovic for winning his 23rd Grand Slam title and defeating Casper Ruud in the French Open final to break a tie with rival Rafael Nadal for the most major singles trophies in the history of men’s tennis, which dates to the 1800s.
Mikaela Shiffrin, the alpine skier with two Gold Medals, broke the record for the most World Cup victories with her 87th win. She is widely considered the greatest alpine skier of all time.
Finally, Max Verstappen, the Formula One driver, won the Mexican Grand Prix to break the record for most wins in a season.
This is the Lakers and James’ only nomination in eight potential categories to be nominated in. This doesn’t include awards for things like women’s sports, college sports or other major sports leagues.
Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic is the only NBA player nominated for Best Athlete, Men’s Sports and for Best Championship Performance. Nuggets guard Jamal Murray is the only NBA player nominated for Best Comeback Performance after missing the 2021-22 season with injury.
The Nuggets are nominated for Best Team, as well.
Jokic, Joel Embiid, Jayson Tatum and Jimmy Butler are the four nominees for Best NBA Player after a season in which injuries likely hampered the full effectiveness of James.
The ceremony takes place on Wednesday, July 12.
Phil Handy expects James to return
The continues expectation for the Lakers is that James, who hinted at retirement at the end of the postseason, will return to play for the team in 2023-24. Lakers assistant Phil Handy reiterated this sentiment, saying that he doesn’t see why James wouldn’t be back.
The Lakers are hopeful to compete for a championship in 2024 after trade deadline acquisitions allowed them to field a competitive roster for the first time since the end of the 2020-21 campaign. James figures to join for a potentially final championship push.
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