James could top Abdul-38,387 Jabbar’s career point total on Tuesday night when the Lakers host the Oklahoma City Thunder or on Thursday when they play the Milwaukee Bucks, a record that has stood for nearly four decades.
This week’s anticipated handover of the baton will be a momentous occasion for the NBA and James himself as the focus of the international sports community shifts to the court in Los Angeles.
“I think it’s one of the greatest records in sports in general,” James said last week, after spending much of the season insisting that he is more focused on helping the Lakers win than getting atop the scorers’ list.
“It’s one of those records that you just don’t ever see or think that would be broken,” he said.
The 38-year-old, who entered the NBA straight out of high school, is averaging 30 points per game in his 20th season in the league a remarkable show of athleticism and endurance in a career marked by countless accolades.
“To see LeBron do it over 20 years is pretty remarkable and a testament to not only his ability but his durability,” Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said about James being set to break Abdul-Jabbar’s record.
“He’s just a machine. He’s healthy and a physical force night after night.”
A native of Akron, Ohio, James won NBA championships in Cleveland and Miami before securing his fourth title in Los Angeles in 2020. He has four NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards, four NBA finals MVP awards, and two Olympic gold medals.
Now, with the Lakers currently sitting back in 13th position in the Western Conference with a disappointing 25-29 record, James’s quest for the all-time regular season points record has reinvigorated fans around the world.
For those who know him, the idea that James is about to surpass Abdul-Jabbar is not a shock.
“It’s a huge deal to get the scoring title. But this is LeBron James. There’s nothing he’s going to do that’s going to make me say, ‘He did that?’ There’s all types of records he could break, if he put his mind to it,” Mike Brown, who coached him in Cleveland, told NBA.com.