In an NBA where it seems like scoring records and statistical milestones are rewritten or broken on a seemingly nightly basis, LeBron James’ quest for the all-time scoring crown will be a dominating storyline throughout next season. All-time records are not often broken, and particularly the scoring crown.
Only twice in the last 56 years has the all-time scoring record-holder changed: Once in 1966, when Wilt Chamberlain moved into first, and then in 1984, when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar passed him. For nearly 40 years, that record has stood before LeBron James, presumably, will surpass the mark of 38,387 that has stood the test of time for decades, with the milestone likely coming next season.
All eyes will be on James’ pursuit of Abdul-Jabbar, but not only from outside the NBA, as current players will be paying close attention as well. Specifically, Draymond Green already laid out his plans on his podcast “The Draymond Green Show” for next season, which could include skipping out on a Warriors game to watch LeBron.
“Congrats to LeBron, second all-time. Probably in fifty more games or so, fifty to seventy games or so, he’ll be first all-time. And I can’t wait to see that and I hope, Steve Kerr, I’m throwing this out there right now: If LeBron is passing the all-time scoring record and we have a game, I’m going to LeBron’s game to witness history. So that’s what we doing, coach Kerr.”
The absolute hilarity of this playing out would (or will?) be a spectacle in its own right. Think back to Kobe Bryant’s final game that was on ESPN 2, while the Warriors’ pursuit of 73 wins was on the main network, but this time imagine Draymond just sitting courtside taking in the game. Obviously, the situation will be a bit different than that, but just the idea of an active NBA player missing his OWN game to watch LeBron break the scoring title is incredible.
Do I fault Draymond? Absolutely not. I, like many others — including Kareem himself — will be tuning out everything but the game when LeBron breaks the record. Draymond also has the obvious connection as a long-time fellow Klutch client who has a strong relationship with LeBron. And who doesn’t want to watch a moment in history that is about as rare as any in the NBA?
Will those completely understandable reasons stop me from making jokes if this actually happens? Absolutely not. Perhaps the Lakers and Warriors should simply work out a trade around Russell Westbrook and Draymond so that he will already be in person and alleviate some potential scheduling issues with Golden State on that night. Might just be easiest for everyone.