No one can accuse LeBron James of having excess humility. He wasn’t even out of high school when he tattooed the “Chosen One” on his back and earned the nickname “King James” from adoring fans who saw highlights of this kid from Akron, Ohio.
Nevertheless, James has become a model athlete on and off the court. He’s mastered nearly every skill and even brought a title to Cleveland. These days, the Lakers forward gets to play with much less pressure.
Of course, there’s always stress regarding what James does due to his status as the face of the NBA. But the noise is muffled compared to his time with the Heat. The superstar can breathe in the same stratosphere as Michael Jordan. He has nothing to prove — or does he?
LeBron James’ next history-making record?
King James is still highly ambitious and seeking new worlds to conquer. In a conversation with AP News, the future Hall of Famer admitted he has his eyes on the NBA’s all-time scoring record, currently held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar:
“I would be lying if I said I don’t see it. Obviously I’m not trying to say, ‘OK, well if I play this amount of time, if I average this’ … I’ve always just kind of let it happen. Whatever happens, happens. But I see it. I do see it.”
To some, this quote seems egotistical. Greatness attracts haters. Skip Bayless types will find some issue with James saying he wants to break one of the most impressive NBA records in history. Many critics prefer that he “shuts up and dribbles.” But there’s nothing wrong with being confident.
Remember when James had obvious flaws?
The most interesting part of James’ conversation with AP News is the fact that he’s even in a place to consider becoming the greatest scorer in NBA history.
When James entered the NBA, no one considered him a particularly special shot-maker. He could get to the rim with ease, and his passing vision drew fair comparisons to Magic Johnson. But opposing defenses dared James to take jump shots during the early part of his career.
James’ lack of an outside game was most apparent during his first time in the NBA Finals in 2007 against the San Antonio Spurs. They packed the paint whenever he tried to drive to the basket, successfully dragging the Cav’ offense into the sludge. Cleveland was swept as James shot 20% from three and 35% overall.
James becomes unstoppable in Miami
Things changed when James took his talents to South Beach. After the Dallas Mavericks embarrassed him in the 2011 Finals, James returned with a vengeance. He drastically improved his post game and jump shot the following summer. James became both the regular-season and Finals MVP as the Heat won its first championship of the Big Three era.
The next year James reached the peak of his powers when the efficiency of his offense reached absurd numbers. He averaged 27 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in yet another MVP-winning campaign.
During February 2013, Miami began a 27-game winning streak and James went supernova. He averaged 30 points and eight assists while shooting 64% from the floor. Performances like this should only be possible in NBA2k when the difficult settings are low.
James has never quite replicated that season’s percentages, but he’s still done incredible things in the following years. A basketball genius, James is an athletic freak who’s put the work in to develop skills he didn’t have when he was younger.
At the time of writing, James is only 4,971 points away from Kareem’s record. If he averaged 25 points a game for another three years, then he can claim the record. The crazy thing isn’t that James openly imagined himself on top of the all-time scoring list. It’s that he may actually get there.
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