By: Nick Schwartz | March 9, 2019
LeBron James surpassed Michael Jordan for fourth place on the all-time NBA scoring list this week, and he should catch Lakers legend Kobe Bryant next season. James, now 34, has a realistic shot to finish his career as the all-time leading scorer in league history – and record holder Kareem Abdul-Jabbar would graciously welcome James as the new NBA scoring king should it happen.
In a message on Instagram, Abdul-Jabbar congratulated James on passing Jordan, and compared the moment to when he passed Wilt Chamberlain on the scoring list in 1984. Abdul-Jabbar says that if LeBron goes on to break his record, he’ll be glad that the record will belong to someone with the character of James.
“I just wanted to congratulate you on your most recent accomplishment, passing Michael Jordan. I know he was your hero and how much it means to you to pass someone you’ve admired your whole life. Same thing happened to me, back in 1984. I was able to pass Wilt’s record, someone that I had admired when I was a kid.
…. Everybody’s asking me how I’m going to react if you pass my record, and the only thing I have to say is if and when that happens, I’ll be glad that it’s somebody that has shown as much class and caring as you have.”
The Lakers’ decision to limit James for the rest of the season means he may record the lowest-scoring season of his career in terms of total points, and there’s no guarantee that he catches Abdul-Jabbar. James could potentially surpass Abdul-Jabbar during the 2021-22 season if he plays a heavy schedule and doesn’t regress, but it’s more likely that James needs another four seasons to become the No. 1 all-time scorer.
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