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The Eastern Echo Sunday, June 23, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

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Opinion: Why LeBron James is the NBA's undisputed Greatest Player of All-Time after securing NBA All-Time Scoring Record

James surpassed NBA Legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Feb. 7 for the all-time regular season scoring record.

A record that stood tall for more than 30 years. NBA greats like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Duncan, and even Stephen Curry not being able to come within even 1,000 points of the record. One man, some may call him “The Chosen One,“ some may call him “King,“ some may call him nothing at all, but that one man; LeBron James.

This past month, on Feb. 7, James surpassed NBA legend and first-ballot Hall of Famer, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, to become the NBA’s all-time regular season scoring leader, a record that stood untouched for nearly 40 years. 

Upon entering the NBA in 2003, James was arguably the most scrutinized, highly touted, and criticized high school prospect to ever exist. Deemed “The Chosen One” by many sports figures and himself, James was being told that if he, someday, wasn’t a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection, he would be referred to as a “bust“ or “overhyped.” 

Fast forward to today, and James has lived up to every expectation that was made of him and more. 

His resume reads as follows; four-time NBA champion, four-time Finals MVP award winner, four-time NBA Most Valuable Player, 19-time NBA All-Star, 13 All-NBA First Team selections, three All-NBA second-team selections, two All-NBA third-team selections, five All-NBA defensive first-team selections, selected to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary team, a four-time AP Athlete of the Year winner, and many more honors, accolades, and awards that I’m not going to bore you with. 

Now in 2023 and his 20th year in the NBA, James finds himself ranked in the top spot for many historical categories in NBA history. 

Currently, James is number one in All-time scoring, All-time NBA Honors, first-team All-NBA honors, playoff scoring, playoff wins, Player of the Month awards, Player of the Week Awards, and is tied for the most All-star selections. 

Along with being in the number one spot for all of those categories, James is also atop many other historical lists as well. James currently sits fourth on the NBA’s all-time assist leader list, ninth in all-time steals, and third, in all-time minutes played as well. 

If you think it stops there, it doesn’t. James has dominated the game of basketball for 20+ years, inside and out, and that includes playoffs too, where James has also proven himself to be one of the best players in that category as well. 

As far as NBA playoff records, James holds almost all of those. Including being the NBA’s all-time playoff leading scorer, and the NBA’s all-time playoff win leader, James sits at 10th in all-time playoff blocks, first in NBA all-time playoff steals, second in NBA all-time playoff assists, sixth in NBA all-time playoff rebounds, third in three-pointers made all-time in the playoffs, first in field goals made all-time in the playoffs, and first in all-time minutes played in the playoffs. 

Former NBA and Duke guard, JJ Redick, even chimed in on the argument on his podcast "TheOldMan&TheThree," pointing out that LeBron is leading, or at least top five, in numerous NBA history scoring categories. 

According to Redick and his podcast, James ranks fifth for all-time NBA career scoring average, has the most clutch-time points in NBA history since the tracking began in the 1996-97 season, ranks second for most game-tying or game-winning shots inside the final minute of the fourth quarter or overtime, and has five game-winning buzzer beaters in the playoffs, which is the most ever in NBA history. 

“Just a kid from Akron, Ohio” is a saying that James reminds the world of occasionally. Never forgetting where he came from, staying true to himself, and not giving a single care about what anyone says, James has proven himself to be arguably the greatest basketball player that this world has ever seen. 

Instead of debating, let’s just appreciate greatness while it’s here.

He is the GOAT though. He just is.