Home » Whether King James is the GOAT may be open to debate, but breaking the all-time scoring record is the crown jewel of achievements

Whether King James is the GOAT may be open to debate, but breaking the all-time scoring record is the crown jewel of achievements

by The Grio

LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after scoring to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, surpassing Abdul-Jabbar’s career total of 38,387 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Crypto.com Arena on February 07, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

Ranking players is a fun and infuriating aspect of sports, a combative and ultimately pointless exercise that generates endless media content for fan consumption. It’s effortless, too: Just consider everyone who ever played — competing in different eras, under different rules, conditions, and norms — and devise your list of all-time greats in numerical order.

The debate inevitably expands as generations pass, with younger athletes entering the discussion and supplanting their elders. But lines of demarcation are blurry and arguments ensue as the newcomers climb up. At what point exactly does this active player eclipse that long-retired player? And how long until players not yet conceived are vying to be No. 1?

Subjectivity is baked into such rankings, as inseparable as eggs in a cake. Each judge’s list is influenced by their personal tastes and preferences, including players’ style and backstory. Maybe you place short underdogs and overachievers above tall favorites who make the game look easy.

But there’s no disputing a statistical list, no room for emotions or inclinations to cloud the process. 

And after Tuesday game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder, LeBron Raymone James is the only correct answer regarding the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. End of discussion.

It’s not Kareem Abdul Jabbar (No.2), who had held the record with 38,387 points since April 5, 1984, or Michael Jordan (No.5), who’s widely considered the greatest player of…

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