When Barry Bonds broke Hank Aaron’s home run record, people were watching. When Steph Curry broke Ray Allen’s three-pointers record, people watched. You get the point right? Becoming the king of a record is not easy. The record that has stood the test of time is the NBA’s all-time scoring record which saw Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the king for a long time.
Kareem has been atop the list with 38,387 points for nearly 40 years. As of Tuesday evening, LeBron James has surpassed Kareem as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. Millions of people witnessed history as a record deemed “unbreakable” has been broken. So what am I getting at here? Well, where does this achievement put LeBron in the all-time ranks? Does this make LeBron the official king of the basketball world? Let’s discuss this.
LeBron Versus Jordan Debate
The biggest threat in the GOAT debate is his Airness, Michael Jordan. Jordan has a resume that beats the entire NBA besides maybe Bill Russell. But where does he compare against LeBron?
Well, Michael might not have the longevity aspect but he won six NBA titles, six Finals MVPs, ten scoring titles, and much more. He led the Bulls in scoring in 32 of his 35 total Finals games. Jordan was the deadliest mid-range scorer in the NBA for much of his career.
So where does the king beat Jordan? LeBron simply has a bigger bag of tricks when it comes to basketball skills. Jordan might have been a more dynamic scorer, but LeBron has perfected scoring in many ways, not just in the mid-range or driving to the paint. LeBron is much more physical when he drives to the basket, but he also has the vision to create a play with his passing when needed.
The only reason LeBron does not have more scoring titles is that he has been more willing to dish the rock than Jordan ever was. You do not accidentally make your way into the top five all-time assist leaders. LeBron is the more “complete” basketball player when it comes to the big picture. The king of basketball has beaten out Jordan with his longevity as well. Staying this healthy at 38 years old is impressive and thus LeBron has been able to pass up Kareem.
Why Passing Kareem Ends The GOAT Debate
Passing Kareem is a goal for any dynamic scorer but many have fallen far short. LeBron has passed Kareem to become the scoring king due to being in the league since he was fresh out of high school and having 20 years to chip away at the record. LeBron has adapted from being a pure slasher to a total package player who can do it all.
The biggest separator here is that LeBron has passed Kareem in a way that not even Jordan could do. Kareem was only able to string together nine straight seasons of 25.0 points or more. Even the incredible Wilt Chamberlain streak of 25.0 or more stopped at eight seasons. Scoring at that clip for 19 seasons in a row is another record that will not be beaten any time soon.
Once passing Kareem became a reality, LeBron set his eyes on becoming the scoring king. Passing Kareem was the final goal that he needed to end the debate of who is the GOAT. Throw aside the scoring titles and NBA titles, LeBron has become the king of the NBA and basketball world.
Final Thoughts On The King’s Resume
LeBron has set a scoring record that will be untouchable for a long time. This has taken LeBron’s resume from superstar to the king of basketball. He is going to finish his career as the all-time leading scorer and is the only player in NBA history to have over 30K points, 10K rebounds, and 10K assists.
LeBron scored ten or more points in over 1,000 consecutive games. To put into perspective what he is doing, he is averaging 30 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists per game in his 20th season, folks. He has redefined “beating Father Time,” and could write a book on how to be the most dominant athlete even at an “old age.”
Love him or hate him, LeBron is the gold standard of the NBA. He has redefined the game of basketball in many ways. His resume is untouchable and he will be the greatest player to touch a basketball until someone else decides to try and climb that mountain. Good luck beating the GOAT’s resume or records any time soon NBA world.