In what was an otherwise disappointing loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night, LeBron James made history by passing Dirk Nowitzki to move up to sixth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. James also leapfrogged Shaquille O’Neal to move to seventh on the all-time made field goals list.
After passing Nowitzki (31,187), James (31,202) is on pace to pass both Wilt Chamberlain (31,419) and Michael Jordan (32,292) on the all-time scoring list this season, and there’s a good chance he passes Kobe Bryant (33,643) while he’s in a Lakers uniform.
However, Nowitzki told ESPN that he thinks James could end up being the greatest scorer in NBA history, passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who holds the records for most point scored by a player (38,387).
“If he stays healthy, the way he’s looking and moving, he has a chance at Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar],” Nowitzki told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “His numbers have been unbelievable. He doesn’t seem to slow down. The stuff he was doing last year in year 15 was incredible. If he keeps this up, he can pass Kareem.”
In the highly likely event James passes Jordan on the all-time scoring list this season, four out of the top five best scorers in NBA history will be players that have worn a Lakers uniform, including Bryant, Chamberlain, James, Abdul-Jabbar, and Karl Malone. Your favorite franchise could never.
James has never been one to be modest about his celebrating himself and his career milestones either, so it was unsurprising when he took to Instagram to flex on Sunday morning.
However, while James was justifiably proud of his incredible accomplishment, he made sure to pay tribute to two of the league’s living legends (via Kyle Goon of the OC Register)
“Dirk’s always been one of my favorite players, and I think Shaq is the most dominant player to ever play this game,” James said. “So for me to be in the same conversation with those guys in anything that we’re talking about as far as basketball, it’s a tribute.”
The Lakers haven’t started the season off in stellar fashion, but as James noted in the locker room during his post game interview on Saturday, he’s always going to be statistically great.
There are going to be nights with the Lakers don’t have it, but James can sleepwalk into a 20-point double-double on any given night. As long as he’s healthy, they’ll always have a chance to win, and he’ll have a chance to climb up the all-time leaderboards as well.
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