The passing of the torch reportedly will be witnessed next week between two of the NBA’s finest who are not the finest of friends.
Per Reuters, former Los Angeles Laker and Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will be in attendance at Crypto.com Arena when LeBron James is likely to surpass the six-time NBA champ and 19-time All-Star to become the NBA’s all-time scoring leader.
The pair have had their disagreements in the past, leading to a testy relationship. Abdul-Jabbar has commented on James’ celebrations, calling them “stupid and childish” and has accused him of not using the platform that he has enough for social causes.
“Some of the things he’s done and said are really beneath him, as far as I can see,” Abdul-Jabbar said to ESPN.com in April 2022. “Some of the great things that he’s done, he’s standing on both sides of the fence almost, you know? It makes it hard for me to accept that when he’s committed himself to a different take on everything. It’s hard to figure out where he’s standing. You’ve got to check him out every time.”
James scored 26 points against the Pacers in his most recent game on Thursday to move within 63 of Abdul-Jabbar’s 38,387 points.
In October of this past year, Magic Johnson admitted on Shannon Sharpe’s “Club Shay Shay” podcast that “it’ll be a hard pill to swallow” once James breaks the record Abdul-Jabbar has held since 1984.
James curtly responded when asked in September about his relationship with Abdul-Jabbar and surpassing his record. “No thoughts and no relationship,” he said.
The Lakers are in New Orleans on Saturday to face the Pelicans at 6 p.m. and will return home for two games against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday and the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday.
James has been averaging a whopping 30.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 7.1 assists per game thus far in his 20th season at 38-years-old.