When LeBron James chose to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers back in 2018 NBA free agency, he was immediately entered into the lore of the franchise’s history that includes several current and future Hall of Famers.
However, James has been closely tied to Kobe Bryant in recent weeks as the former was slowly approaching passing the latter on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
James finally accomplished the feat in Bryant’s hometown, marking another momentous occasion in the 35-year-old’s already illustrious career.
After recounting his first interactions with Bryant in high school, James went on to explain how strangely things came about, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“It’s just too much. It’s too much. The story is too much. It doesn’t make sense. And just to make a long story short, now I’m here in a Lakers uniform… in Philadelphia where he’s from. The first time I ever met him, gave me his shoes on All-Star Weekend. It’s surreal. It doesn’t make no sense, but the universe just puts things in your life and I guess when you live in the right way… when you just give it everything to whatever you’re doing, things happen organically and it’s not supposed to make sense, but it just happens.”
The four-time MVP also discussed his joy of being linked to Bryant and the respect he has for him:
And I’m happy just to be in any conversation with Kobe Bean Bryant, one of the all-time greatest basketball players to ever play, one of the all-time greatest Lakers. The man has two jerseys hanging up in Staples Center. It’s just crazy.”
James has proven that although he is a natural playmaker, he is more than capable of scoring the basketball and passing a player like Bryant speaks volumes to just how dominant of an offensive force he has been throughout his career.
Even in Year 17, James is currently averaging a robust 25.3 points per game and has shown no signs of decline despite his age and how many career minutes he has played. His refined jumper has allowed him to save some wear and tear on his body, but he is still nearly unstoppable when driving to the rim with a full head of steam.
At this point, it is fair to wonder just how much farther up the scoring list James can go given his current level of play. If he decides to extend his playing career past his current deal, he could very well end up at the top of the list.