To say that Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is having an amazing year is an understatement. While the world marvels at the 38-year-old’s 40-point outings, the league also celebrated him becoming the all-time leading scorer.
Even though he passed Kareem Abdul-Jabarr which is an incredible accomplishment, the four-time NBA champion has made it clear that even in his 20th NBA season, he still wants to win and compete for titles despite his historic individual accomplishments.
One man who witnessed James win his first two championships first-hand is current Miami Heat President of Basketball Operations Pat Riley. The former Lakers coach was a pivotal piece in bringing James to South Beach for the 2010-2014 seasons.
During an interview with ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Riley commented on James breaking the all-time scoring record and shared that he still thinks LeBron is in it for the championships as opposed to individual records:
“That’s where LeBron is,” he said. “I’m not speaking to anything that he might say in the media, but that’s his only reason to continue to play. Breaking the scoring record will be big for him if it happens, and it will happen. But he wants to win titles; that’s what drives him. And so for him to continue to play at this level, with that hope that this team is going to come together out there and Anthony Davis gets back, I think they got a shot. I really do. And I believe he believes that too.”
It is a full-circle moment for Riley to witness James still playing at an elite level. Riley knew that the four-time regular-season MVP winner would break Abdul-Jabbar’s record, but also knows him well enough to know that winning in the purple and gold is still the ultimate goal.
Riley and the Lakers faithful are in one accord when it comes to what LeBron and Anthony Davis can do when fully healthy. If the star duo proved they can win a championship once, the optimism for them to do it again will remain as long as the two are wearing the purple & gold.
James calls upcoming stretch most important of career
With only a handful of games left in the regular season for the Lakers, James recently called the stretch the most important of his career as he looks to get the team back in postseason contention.
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