LeBron James opened Year 20 of his stellar NBA career with a near triple-double in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 123-109 loss to the Golden State Warriors.
After a slow start, James rolled up his sleeves to turn the game into a busy day in the office. The 37-year-old forward went 12-for-26 from the field, ending up with 31 points, 15 rebounds, and eight assists.
The Lakers All-Star might have missed out on the 106th triple-double of his career by a fine margin, but it didn’t take anything away from the four-time NBA champion’s performance — which shows he could pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the all-time scoring list sooner than expected.
James’ ability to belong among the best players in the world at the start of his third decade in the league is an extraordinary feat in itself. The Lakers forward’s longevity and overall greatness remain a source of inspiration for both his friends and rivals, which they admit in a tribute video published by James’ media company on Opening Night, via UNINTERRUPTED:
Familiar faces pay homage to 20 years of The King 👑
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) October 19, 2022
Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, Phoenix Suns playmaker Chris Paul, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green and tennis star Naomi Osaka are just some of the athletes who congratulate James on spending 20 years in the league.
“I think it’s absolutely amazing what you’ve been able to accomplish thus far, and the fact that in Year 20 and you’re still a top dog in the NBA,” Green says.
“You’re reinventing the possibilities of human performance,” adds Spoelstra.
The recently retired tennis icon Serena Williams shows up toward the end of the video, wrapping up the tributes with a fitting message. “From one GOAT to another, congratulations on 20 years,” Williams says.
“It’s been incredibly fun watching you win championships and a gold medal. I know Bronny’s got the 20, but I’m so proud of you.”
James speaks about magnitude of Abdul-Jabbar’s scoring record
James needs a little under 1,300 points to break Abdul-Jabbar’s record, which has been considered unbreakable for years. Before the start of 2022-23, the Lakers All-Star discussed the possibility of reaching the milestone and how big an honor it will constitute.
“It’s a huge thing, I believe,” James said.
“I think it’s one of the most sought-after records in sports. And me personally, I’ve never even like set a goal of doing it. It makes zero sense to me. But it’s something that’s bigger, and bigger than people think.”
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