The roof of the NBA points to reforms. The hunt for the record of records has begun. The North American Basketball League season started this morning with the King, LeBron James, bordering on a triple-double (31 points, 14 rebounds and 8 assists) against the defending champions, the Golden State. At 37 years old, the Los Angeles Lakers star is already one of the greatest in history, but he has another milestone within his reach this year. In his twentieth year in the NBA, the power forward can become the top scorer in regular season history and enter the top-5 of assists. Ahead of him, two Lakers legends who starred in the Showtime years: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson.
In absolute terms, no one has scored as many points as James taking into account the play-offs as well (44,693 points in total). He is also in the top-5 of assists counting the postseason, fifth with 11,964 baskets, behind John Stockton (17,645), Jason Kidd (13,354), Magic Johnson (12,487) and Chris Paul (12,158). . But the goal of King, the only player in history who has more than 30,000 points, 10,000 assists and 10,000 rebounds, is that there is not a single stat in which his name does not appear high.
The accounts for this season do not require anything supernatural for what Lebron James is used to. With the 31 points scored this morning against the Warriors, he was separated by 1,294 from the summit established by Abdul-Jabbar. Throughout his career, the Akron colossus has averaged 27.3 points per game, so maintaining this average could hunt down the record, in force since 1989, before reaching the halfway point of the season. In terms of assists, Stockton’s record is too far away for James to hope to catch up. This morning he has added eight passes to the basket. If the power forward maintains his average of 6.2 assists per game, he will overtake the Magic in less than 14 games, and could catch up with Mark Jackson and even Steve Nash, moving up to fourth in the ranking.
LeBron faces the ascent to the top of the records in his twentieth season in the NBA at 37 years old. In the history of the North American league, only nine players have reached two active decades. Since this morning, James already belongs to the select club commanded by Vince Carter, the player who has been in the NBA the longest with 22 seasons. The Lakers star has repeatedly commented that his intention is to remain active, at least until his son Bronny jumps into the ring. Currently, LeBron’s son is 18 years old and aspires to appear for next year’s draft, so the Lakers star could become the fifth player in NBA history to reach 21 seasons.
On June 26, 2023, it will be 20 years since the Cleveland Cavaliers chose him as number one in the draft. By then, the new NBA champion for this season will be known, whose finals will be played on June 1. With four rings adorning his hand, LeBron is far from the players with the most NBA titles, starting with Bill Russell, the Celtics legend winner of 12 championships who passed away just over three months ago. And it’s not because he hasn’t tried. His 10 finals played, half his life fighting for the title, are the third best mark in history after Russell (11) and Sam Jones (10), also a member of the Celtics who dominated the 1960s. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar I also reached the series for the ring 10 times,
This season it seems complicated that James can fight with the Lakers for a new ring. The yellow and purple failed to qualify for the playoffs last season, with a record of 33 wins and 49 losses. In 2020, the year of the pandemic in which the postseason was played in a bubble format in Orlando, they celebrated their last title with a stellar James, MVP of the final for the fourth time in his career. This summer, the sensations have not been the best with five defeats in six preseason games, and they have started the course losing clearly against Golden State. But in the twilight, let it not decline, LeBron James wants to enjoy the final stages of his illustrious career competing for everything. And with his name engraved in history.