Author of 36 points against the Thunder, LeBron James broke the record for points in NBA history held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar since 1984. The fact that he’s grabbing one of basketball’s most hallowed records – and long considered unbreakable – only adds to his tally in the GOAT debate… except it’s not a debate for LeBron. He’s sure of his position, as he told Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register (and Southern California News Group).
« What I bring to the table as a basketball player… I feel like I’m the best basketball player that’s ever played the game, » he said. « It’s just my confidence, it’s just what I bring to the table, what I have. But as far as whether the scoring record takes me to another level, I don’t know. »
.@SHAQ: “Does this now make you the greatest player of all time?”@KingJames: “I’m gonna take myself against anybody that’s ever played this game. … I always feel like I’m the best to ever play this game.” pic.twitter.com/5mzrZ59GTG
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 8, 2023
Again, what did you expect him to say? If LeBron didn’t have the confidence to make that statement, he wouldn’t be able to break the record or be in the GOAT conversation. Not everyone is going to see it the same way, but it’s at least a conversation.
« I think he’s going to have the greatest career of all time, » Sixers coach Doc Rivers said of LeBron. « I think he’s already had it, you know, and I think Michaels is the greatest of all time. But that doesn’t take anything away from LeBron. LeBron has had the greatest career. »
What’s impressive about LeBron’s journey is that he has played at such a high level for 20 years. His commitment to conditioning, to investing in his body from high school, is paying off today. The fact that LeBron has played 20 seasons without missing significant time due to injury is a combination of his intense preparation and a little luck. All that work, all those years, are paying off today.