In no particular order, the consensus top 3 NBA GOAT candidates are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James.
Well, LBJ just took one of Kareem’s strongest arguments.
Before Wednesday’s game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder, LeBron James was already seen by many NBA fans as the GOAT of basketball. In contrast, truckloads of LeBron haters whose life’s mission is to discredit him also exist. When the ageless forward broke Kareem’s all-time regular season scoring record before the end of the third quarter, he sent the two factions into a frenzy.
The one side celebrated the affirmation of their belief in LeBron, while the other went into panic mode as they scrambled to come up with reasons that will downplay the monumental achievement. Nonetheless, the latest feat accomplished by King James has further solidified claims of his GOAT status.
To reach 38,388 points, the Lakers superstar drained a fadeaway jumper near the free-throw line against Kenrich Williams, leaving 10.9 seconds left in the penultimate period. (Fun fact: Williams is the same dude guarding Dirk Nowitzki when the German legend became the top six scorer in the league.) The game was halted, Kareem and LeBron were called to meet at the center of the court for a quick passing-of-the-torch ceremony.
Other Lakers legends like Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Bob McAdoo, and AC Green were also in the building to congratulate the man of the moment. Of course, LeBron’s entire family was present as well.
Like the great ones always do, LeBron understood the magnitude of the important moment and delivered under the brightest lights, scoring at will in pursuit of the record. The crazier part of this whole thing is that the 4-time NBA champion seems to be far from done.
“I know I can play a couple of more years. The way my I’m feeling, the way my body’s been reacting to me throughout this course of the season… If my mind is still into it. If I’m still motivated to compete for championships ‘cause I feel like that’s what I can still do for any group of guys or any franchise,” James said during a postgame interview on TNT.
In the end, LeBron finished with 38 points, a couple of buckets more than the magic number. While the Purple and Gold lost to OKC, 130-133, what The King had achieved was undeniable.
In a sport where the ultimate goal is to score points by putting the ball through the hoop, it was LeBron James who was able to do it more than any other player in the world’s number one basketball league. At year 20, at 38 years old, to still play at level like this is stuff is only reserved for guys worthy to be called the GOAT.