LeBron James is primed to overtake Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA‘s all-time leading scorer, a feat that will place the 38-year-old in the record books for a long time.
Some critics and former teammates have suggested that Abdul-Jabbar may not be happy when he loses the scoring title.
Abdul-Jabbar previously revealed on his Substack page that when he broke Wilt Chamberlain’s scoring record in 1984, it allegedly “bothered” the 7-foot-1 center, whom he claimed had a “one-sided rivalry” with him.
But Abdul-Jabbar clarified that he holds no ill feelings toward James and vowed that he will not only celebrate the four-time NBA champion’s achievement but also “sing his praises unequivocally” once the record is broken.
Ex-Laker John Salley said he believes that Abdul-Jabbar should be proud to pass the torch to James once the 19-time All-Star does surpass the top pick of the 1969 NBA Draft.
“I think Kareem will take his hat off to him, be proud of him,” Salley told TMZ Sports. “He should.”
The comments of Salley, who is best known for being a bruiser with the Detroit Pistons before ending his career with the Lakers following the 1999-2000 season, may come as a surprise considering he previously did not see James breaking the record of Abdul-Jabbar.
“I think they’re not going to let him get it,” Salley told Shannon Sharpe on the “Club Shay Shay” podcast in November 2022.
However, he has since changed his mind, telling TMZ that statistically, James will be “the greatest player to ever play.”
“I said I didn’t think anybody was ever gonna break his record, but I’m so happy LeBron is breaking his record,” Salley added.
As of this writing, James is now only 36 points away from overtaking Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time NBA scoring record of 38,387 after dropping 27 points in a 126-131 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans Saturday.
James could achieve the feat as early as Tuesday when the Lakers face the Oklahoma City Thunder. If not, it may happen during their game against the Bucks Thursday.
The Lakers will play both games right on their turf, Crypto.com Arena. Abdul-Jabbar reportedly plans to be at the two Lakers home games, an unnamed source close to Abdul-Jabbar told Reuters.
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