Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar addresses possibility of Kevin Durant, LeBron James breaking scoring record
Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has always given a frank opinion on the state of the game, as well as plenty of fun memories as a trailblazer in the sport. Abdul-Jabbar, who retired from the NBA in 1989 after playing 20 NBA seasons, still holds the all-time scoring record, one that could be threatened with high-octane scorers like LeBron James and Kevin Durant.
Abdul-Jabbar averaged 24.6 points per game through his career, reaching the mythical mark of 38,387 points, which has yet to be touched since leaving the game 30 years ago. James and Durant are the two highest-scoring active players, at 27.16 and 27.02 points per game for their respective careers.
The 7-foot-2 big dipper recognized the potential threat these two players could have on his legacy as the all-time leading scorer.
“We’re going to have to wait and see how he responds to his rehab,” said Abdul-Jabbar about Durant, according to Mark Medina of USA TODAY Sports. “You don’t know. He might be able to come back. He might not. The only way we’re going to find out about that is see what happens next time he steps on the court.”
Durant will reportedly have a full season off the court before he comes back, but he’s still 31st in the all-time scorers’ list with 22,940 points.
Abdul-Jabbar chimed in on James’ chances, who is fourth all-time in the scoring race with 32,543 points — only 1,100 points away from tying third-place Kobe Bryant — a feat he could easily reach during this 2019-20 season, if healthy.
“LeBron doesn’t have many problems. Things went south with injuries to him and the team. But those things happen,” he said. “LeBron isn’t trying to come back from a career-threatening injury. He’s just slowing down a little bit. But when you’re LeBron and you slow down, you’re talking about a different level of slowing down.”
Assuming James can score around 1,500 points per season during the next four seasons, he could surpass Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time record. Though if he can still score at the same potent pace as he did last season, he might not have to wait all that long to crown himself the all-time scoring king.