LeBron James is entering his 19th NBA season, and it seems like he is not stopping at all while still being considered one of the best players in the world. Don’t forget, LeBron is 36 and has nothing left to prove anymore because he won it all. However, just like any true competitor, LeBron apparently has a goal set out for himself that would potentially mean he is the best player in NBA history. This goal doesn’t necessarily mean more rings, which is obviously one of the main criteria when measuring a player’s greatness but overtaking the NBA’s all-time scoring record from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
According to Shaquille O’Neal, he is familiar that LeBron’s ultimate goal is surpassing Kareem as the all-time leader in points. That might present as an almost unrealistic challenge considering Kareem scored over 38 thousand points. Still, LeBron is slowly but surely getting close, and the way he’s been consistent, his chances are more than decent to accomplish this feat. Shaq also noted that even if he doesn’t win another championship but somehow manages to become an all-time leader in points, the GOAT debate changes quite a bit.
I don’t like having this conversation because I actually know all these guys, but I know LeBron, and I think this is LeBron’s plan. I think he wants to surpass Kareem cause if he surpasses Kareem in points, we all have to shut the hell up. Think about it, he is going to have four rings, he already passed up Kobe, he already passed up Mike, and now if he passes Kareem, so if that doesn’t make him the greatest basketball player, I don’t know what we are talking about.Shaquille O’Neal, via FULL SEND PODCAST
Shaq also talked about his personal rankings and how even if LeBron surpasses Kareem and becomes an all-time leader in points, he would not put him ahead of Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant. There is nothing but tremendous respect that Shaq has for LeBron, but Michael made a substantial impact on Shaq and NBA as a whole, while there is no need for much explanation why Shaq chooses Kobe over LeBron.
When it comes to ranking, it’s always going to be Mike; it’s going to be Kobe, and then probably LeBron. That is always debatable, but I don’t think LeBron wants to be compared to Kobe or Mike. LeBron has definitely made his own mark. I have known LeBron since he was a kid, and I know he is trying to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and if I was him, I would do the same thing.Shaquille O’Neal, via FULL SEND PODCAST
Whether LeBron will surpass Kareem or not remains to be seen, however considering the way he’s been playing, even at the late stage of his career, everything is possible. LeBron needs 1552 points to surpass Karl Malone on this list which he might even achieve next season if he remains healthy and consistent. Afterward, he would be required to score an additional 1459 points to overtake Kareem’s place as the best scorer in NBA history.
Considering that LeBron never scored less than 25 points per game for an entire season in his whole career, his chances of doing this don’t seem so impossible. If health serves him well, and it might be because he was always the one most prepared on all of his teams, we might see this happen in the next two seasons. Whether that will change the perspective people have of LeBron in the GOAT debate remains to be seen, but if, on top of that, he wins one or two more championships, it will be hard to say he is not the best player in NBA history.