Kareem Abdul-Jabbar pens 'classy' response to LeBron James breaking his scoring record
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NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has penned a column of his thoughts on LeBron James breaking his all-time scoring record in a response that has been labelled ‘classy’.
LeBron James carved his name into the basketball history books by becoming the NBA's all-time leading scorer.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's record of 38,387 points had stood since April 5, 1984.
LeBron secured the feat with an impressive outing against Oklahoma that saw him overtake the record late into the third quarter.
The cameras then panned to Lakers legend Abdul-Jabbar, who passed a ball over to LeBron – a true symbolic passing-of-the-torch moment.
Abdul-Jabbar continued the passing of the torch with an incredibly touching column where he shared some of his thoughts and emotions on the moment.
LEBRON JAMES DID IT. 🔥🔥🔥🔥— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) February 8, 2023
He wrote: “It takes unbelievable drive, dedication, and talent to survive in the NBA long enough to rack up that number of points when the average NBA career lasts only 4.5 years.
“It’s not just about putting the ball through the hoop, it’s about staying healthy and skilled enough to climb the steep mountain in ever-thinning oxygen over many years when most other players have tapped out.
“It’s also about not making scoring your obsession. Otherwise, you’re Gollum and the record is your Precious.
“The real goal is to win games so that you win championships because you want to please the fans who pay your salary and cheer you on game after game. Fans would rather see you win a championship than set a scoring record.”
The former record holder went on to compare his own philosophy on the game to that of LeBron’s.
My thoughts on @KingJames breaking my record.https://t.co/G3fs3hHlil pic.twitter.com/z61oDX7Z3N— Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (@kaj33) February 8, 2023
Abdul-Jabbar touched on the fact that many people thought he’d be jealous of his record being broken.
Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson had said: “If I got to say it, we got to be honest. And the fact that it’s a dude that’s playing for the Lakers, too… I think it’ll be a hard pill to swallow… I think he thought he was going to have [the record] forever.”
However, the 75-year-old went on to explain how Magic Johnson got it wrong about him.
He continued: “I’m 75. The only time I ever think of the record is when someone brings it up. I retired from the NBA 34 years ago. For the past 20 years, I’ve occupied myself with social activism, my writing career, and my family—especially my three grandchildren.”
Adding: “Whenever a sports record is broken—including mine—it’s a time for celebration. It means someone has pushed the boundaries of what we thought was possible to a whole new level. And when one person climbs higher than the last person, we all feel like we are capable of being more.”
He noted that he established the record in 1984, the same year that James was born, and that the age difference was perhaps the reason why the two didn’t have a relationship.
He finished the column, writing: “Bottom line about LeBron and me: LeBron makes me love the game again. And he makes me proud to be part of an ever-widening group of athletes who actively care about their community.”
All-in-all it was a classy response to a historic moment.
Featured Image Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy. MARKA / Alamy.
Topics: Lebron James, NBA, Basketball, US Sports