Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James became the NBA’s second-leading scorer all-time in their most recent loss to the Washington Wizards. By passing Karl Malone, James put himself just one spot behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the coveted No. 1 all-time leading scorer.
And while a large chunk of James’ scoring output this season has come in losing efforts, he has been surrounded by several other all-time greats in the process. Setting all kinds of records alongside Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard adds meaning given their contributions to the game of basketball.
When Westbrook was asked about James passing Malone, he had nothing but praise for the way the Lakers star has consistently dominated throughout his long career.
“To be able to play a game at a high level for some many years and to be able to just embrace everything that has come his way along his journey is amazing,” Westbrook said of James. “Just to witness overall and to see him constantly keep climbing up the ladder that’s pretty crazy to see he’s able to have that many points. … It’s a great accomplishment.”
This season has not gone to anyone’s expectations thus far and has largely been seen as a disappointment. However, watching James set new records each and every night is special for everybody, from fans to other Lakers players.
Westbrook has broken plenty of records and his name is etched all throughout the NBA’s history books. So for him to be so complimentary of James’ efforts shows just how impressive it is. While the scoring leaderboard is often seen as a longevity accomplishment, it’s also a skill achievement.
Now, James can continue his chase towards Abdul-Jabbar’s No. 1 overall spot. As of March 21, James is 1,440 points behind the Lakers legend. If he averages 25 points per game from here on out — he is averaging 29.8 this season — it will take him just 58 more games to reach that pinnacle.
If he continues averaging 29.8, it will only take him 49 games. Either way, it appears as though he could be slated to pass Adbul-Jabbar as early as midway through the 2022-23 season.
Frank Vogel unsure where Lakers would be without James’ scoring
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel had plenty to say about James becoming the second-leading scorer all-time, including being unsure of where L.A. would be this season without him.
“This is a moment in time that we can’t get caught up in the pain of this loss and recognize what an incredible feat this is for LeBron and doing it faster than he did it. He just attacked the game tonight. He came in and was aggressive on both sides of the ball. Second night of a back-to-back playing with incredible energy after playing 45 minutes last night.
“Just a signature performance in a game where he passes one of the greats and becomes the second all-time leading scorer in the history of the game. It’s really impressive. I’m super happy for him. It’s awesome. That part is special, but it’s just an incredible game, season and I don’t know where we’d be without him.”
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