LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers

We need to talk about the greatest basketball player to ever lace up, the King, LeBron James.

Last night, LeBron put up 38-points to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time points leader. A record that stood for almost 40 years. Yeah, he did it in an era with the three pointer, but he did it in 150 fewer games.

How many points do we think LeBron is going to have 150 games from now? 42,000? At that point you could make every three LeBron ever made worth two and he’d still have the record. 

And anyone who knows ball is hyper-aware that LeBron never prioritized scoring the way that some of the NBA’s greatest talents did. Believe it or not, this year is only the fourth time in LeBron’s career that he’s averaged at least 30 points a game during the regular season, meaning there are at least 14 seasons where LeBron could have averaged 30, but instead played within the rhythm of the game to ensure his team’s maximum opportunity for success. 

This man has been under the most intense scrutiny any American athlete has ever faced for over half his life, starting with his teenage years. He’s been the lifeblood of corporations. Media empires and personal fortunes have been built on attempting, without success, to tear away every piece of his legacy in real time. 

LeBron James literally made it possible to accumulate wealth just by saying you don’t like LeBron James. 

And you didn’t even have to be honest in your criticism. You could lie on this man’s name and your personal brand would grow. You could say he wasn’t clutch, even though as JJ Reddick pointed out he might be the most clutch player of all time. You could call him selfish, even though he’s the only player in the top 32 all-time assist leaders that isn’t a point guard. You could call him a loser, even though he’s the only player in NBA history to be an all-star on three separate NBA title franchises.

You could bash him for leaving Cleveland to chase a championship, even though the measurement of greatness in Michael Jordan’s shadow was and still is rings and rings alone.

And feel free to ask those same Cavs fans that burned his jersey over “the decision” how they feel about him now.

You could bash him for the Super Team era, but what he started let us know which NBA owners were actually serious about giving their fans something to cheer for. 

You can bash him for the bubble title, but the same man who had his family courtside and called for them to be by his side the moment he passed Kareem, left the people he loved behind to help the NBA restore its product and give us all something to cheer for while stuck at home.

You can always bash LeBron James, and many of you have. But what makes him so great is that for the past two decades he’s absorbed every verbal brick thrown his way and remained focused on the task at hand- giving us all the show of a lifetime. 

So today, I salute the greatest scorer of all time. The most durable athlete of all time. The best passing forward of all time. The man that made his haters angry and rich and his supporters joyful and rich in spirit.

The Goat. LeBron James.

Let that sink in. Or don’t. The record’s still his either way. 

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