LeBron James overtook Dirk Nowitzki on the NBA’s All-Time Scoring List in the game against San Antonio Spurs and is now sixth. According to Nowitzki, the superstar of the Los Angeles Lakers even has a chance to be number one someday.
“If he stays healthy and keeps moving, he has a chance at Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar],” Nowitzki told ESPN. “His numbers are unbelievable and it does not seem like he’s slowing down, what he did last year in his 15th season was unbelievable, and if he goes on like this, he can overtake Kareem.”
James also overtook Shaquille O’Neal in the field goals made and is now sixth. “These are players I played against, who I played with, who I looked at before I was in the league, who I admired,” James said after the game.
“Dirk has always been one of my favorite players, and I think Shaq is the most dominant player who has ever played basketball, so being able to engage in conversations with such people is something special for me,” James continued. “From the little town of Akron I come from, most African-American kids never get out, so I always give it back to my hometown and the children who are just like me.”
Nowitzki and James had played each other in the 2011 Finals and had a controversy over the series as James and fellow player Dwyane Wade mocked Nowitzki’s illness. Since then, however, the two legends respect each other enormously and as Nowitzki now said, the topic was quickly ticked off for him anyway.
“For me that was already done with the Finals,” said the 40-year-old. “That did not add motivation or anything, I’m not a long-standing rumor, it was a bit disrespectful at the time and I said that, but that was it for me, I just kept going.”
Meanwhile, James has repeatedly stressed how much he appreciates Nowitzki. He returned that: “It’s an honor for me, when one of the best of all time talk about me like that,” said Nowitzki. “I’m very grateful for that, I suppose he hears what I say about him – he’s one of the greatest.”