- Mamadou Tall
What Can They Say Now?
The much-heated "Goat" debate is at a crossroads. LeBron James is the all-time leader in points after passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. LeBron has made a habit of breaking records and making history; this record hits a bit differently than the rest.
From the moment he was drafted, the shadow of Michael Jordan has been cast over LeBron at every stage of his career. Even LeBron himself admitted to "chasing the ghost" of Jordan several years back. Now, it's not a chase. He is right there with him.
What was once called a chase has now become a race. A close race. Neck and neck in some way. After LeBron scored the 38,388th point of his career, there isn't much to be said to downplay his career in comparison to Jordan. Milestone after milestone, record after record, LeBron conquered yet another legendary feat. This record has stood for 38 years. I don't care how you look at it, it is a monumental achievement. At 38, LeBron is defying father time as he is trying to drag the Lakers into the playoffs. In year 20, he is averaging 30 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 7.1 assists while shooting 50% from the field. Without a clear-cut sign of LeBron's game falling off, we can expect him to break more records as he heads off into the sunset to.
On Feb. 7 against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Crypto.com Arena, LeBron eclipsed Kareem with a stepback fadeaway from the middle of the floor. In the arena where the jerseys of greats such as Kobe Bryant, Kareem, Magic Johnson, Elgin Baylor, and Shaquille O'Neal hang in the rafters, LeBron reminded us of his greatness. With the NBA world watching, LeBron was able to bask in the glory of his achievement. Yet again, he stood alone at the top with the world watching and cheering.
Nowadays moments and memories are taken for granted. People experience a delay in receiving their praise and flowers, it was pleasant seeing the opposite happen to James. Before you know it we will see him hang up his jersey and walk off into the sunset that is called retirement and all we will have left are the memories and moments that he has gifted the game.
LeBron is at the top of the scoring list with 38,411 points as I write this. The game all falls to who can put the ball in the basket. In other words, the game is all about getting buckets. Already fourth in all-time assists and ninth in all-time steals. The number one all-time scorer title helps to fully encapsulate what type of player LeBron has been during his 20-year career. He does every facet of the game at a high level. He isn't considered a great scorer to a lot, yet his career average of 27.2 points per game is the fifth-highest in NBA history(behind Wilt Chamberlain, Jordan, Kevin Durant, and Elgin Baylor). Add the fact he's first in total points scored, and you can't say he isn't a great scorer. People often get lost in all the dribble-move combos and forget about consistency, efficiency, and longevity. LeBron has displayed consistency, efficiency, and longevity as a scorer; that's why he is one of the best to do it.
At 17, he was labeled "The Chosen One." At 18, he was given the keys to a franchise. From then on, he was the face of the league. Twenty years later, he has lived up to the expectations and continues to add to his resume.
If you've been watching his career, you see it. If you look at the numbers throughout his career, you see it. LeBron is a "Goat." This scoring record is the equalizer in the debate between Jordan and LeBron. At this point, these debates all fall into a matter of preference. Look at the moments, look at the numbers, look at the career. You cannot say LeBron James has had a NBA career second to any.