LeBron James will surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer at some point this season as long as he can stay healthy in his 20th NBA season.
James entered the year 1,325 points behind Abdul-Jabbar and now sits 1,243 points off of the record three games into the 2022-2023 season.
James has averaged 27.1 points per game in his NBA career, meaning that the four-time NBA champion will need around 49 games during the season to break the record.
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He’ll become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer as a member of the Lakers, Abdul-Jabbar’s home for 14 seasons. Kareem’s former teammate does not think he’ll be overly pleased when it happens.
“I don’t think well,” Magic Johnson told Shannon Sharpe on the “Club Shay Shay” podcast when asked how Abdul-Jabbar will handle being passed.
“And the fact that it’s a dude playing for the Lakers too,” Johnson continued. “It’s a dude playing in LA. I think it will be a hard pill to swallow.”
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The relationship between the two greats has been strained over the past several years, with James saying in early October that he had “no relationship” with Abdul-Jabbar.
“I think one day that’s gonna happen,” Johnson told Sharpe when asked about the two having a relationship in the future. “If I can play a part in that, I would love to do that. I think, let him pass him first. Let that happen, and let that soak in for a minute and then put the two men together because they’re gonna find out they’re similar.”
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When asked before the season what it would mean to pass Kareem on the all-time scoring list, James was complimentary of the six-time NBA champion.
“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 at Lakers Media Day. “I think it’s super cool.
“Obviously, Kareem has had his differences with some of my views and some of the things I do,” he added. “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 a 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.”
The Lakers are 0-3 to start the 2022-2023 season.