When LeBron James takes the court Wednesday night, he will be a mere 13 points from passing Michael Jordan and moving into fourth place on the NBA all-time scoring list. The accomplishment would be the latest in personal accolades James has racked up in his first season with the Los Angeles Lakers.
He previously became the first player in NBA history to rank in the top-10 on the all-time scoring and assists lists, has passed Wilt Chamberlain for fifth on the career triple-doubles list, and most recently overtook Kobe Bryant for fifth place in field goals made.
Moving ahead of Jordan carries a different symbolism, however, even if James hadn’t yet given it much thought. “I haven’t been staring him down for a while, actually. I kind of just take all accomplishments as they come,” James said after shootaround.
“Anytime I’m in the breath with any of the greats, obviously MJ being a guy that I looked up to my whole life, the guy I admired when I was a kid, it’s going to be pretty cool (passing him). I don’t know how I’m going to react in the moment but I think at some point I’ll be able to appreciate it. Just knowing where I come from and knowing that it’s so much bigger than just me.
“So many other kids look up to me for inspiration. When I was a kid their age, I needed inspiration, and MJ was that inspiration, along with some other people. Sometimes I have no idea how I’m even in this position to be able to play the game that I love, play at a high level and be linked with some of the greatest to ever play this game; obviously MJ being out of this world.”
With James set to rank ahead of Jordan, many believe he’s in position to eventually catch Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. Though, James said that’s not something he’s given thought to or set a goal of accomplishing.
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