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Barring injury, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James will pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer at some point during the 2022-2023 NBA season.
James is second on the all-time scoring list, just 1,325 points behind Abdul-Jabbar. He’s averaged 27.1 points per game in his NBA career, meaning that the four-time NBA champion will need 49 games during the upcoming season to break the record.
As the Lakers attempt to recover from the disaster that was the 2021-22 season, James is honored to be mentioned with the greats of the NBA as he prepares for his 20th NBA season.
“To sit here and to know that I’m on the verge of breaking probably the most sought-after record in the NBA, things that people said would probably never be done, I think it’s just super humbling for myself,” James said on Monday. “I think it’s super cool.
“Obviously, Kareem has had his differences with some of my views and some of things I do,” he continued. “But at the end of the day, to be able to be in the same breath as a guy that wore this same uniform, a guy that is a staple of this franchise along with Magic [Johnson] and “Big Game [James Worthy]” for so many years, especially in the ’80s. And I guy that does a lot off the floor as well, I think is just super, super dope. For myself to even be in that conversation, anytime my name is mentioned with the greats … It’s super humbling.”
Much will be on James’ shoulders as the Lakers attempt to get back to the postseason after a difficult year in Russell Westbrook’s first season in Los Angeles.
Hit hard by injuries, the Lakers were never able to find the right chemistry, finishing the season 33-49 and out of the playoffs.
Los Angeles fired head coach Frank Vogel – two years removed from winning the 2020 NBA championship – and hired Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham to be the organization’s 28th head coach.
With a roster lacking in depth and talent, it’s hard to see the Lakers competing for a championship in a loaded Western Conference. But James’ pursuit of the NBA’s all-time scoring record is extremely important for the organization and will be in the spotlight until it’s broken.
“We have something that is coming up, which is he will probably become the all-time leading scorer in the history of the NBA,” Lakers owner Jeanie Buss said on “The Crossover” podcast in September. “Which would break Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record. Which, I’ll never forget when he did that and Chick Hearn said, ‘This is a record that will never be broken.’
“And here we are, somebody who is going to break it in a Laker uniform. And that has a lot of meaning to the organization and to me personally.”
The Lakers open the regular season on Oct. 18 against the Golden State Warriors.