LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers became the NBA’s all-time leading scorer in Tuesday night’s 133-130 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the 19-time All-Star was immediately asked who he considers to be the greatest of all time, also known as the GOAT.
“I don’t know, I think it’s great barbershop [debate]… If I was a GM and I had the No. 1 pick, I’d take me,” responded the four-time MVP. “I believe in myself… I can’t take nobody over me.”
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Asked about the GOAT debate, LeBron said:
“I don’t know, I think it’s great barbershop (debate) … If I was a GM and I had the No. 1 pick, I’d take me. I believe in myself … I can’t take nobody over me.”
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) February 8, 2023
LeBron James set the all-time scoring record on a step-back jumper with 10.9 seconds left in the third quarter against OKC. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who watched the Lakers superstar break his scoring record from courtside, had held the record since April 1984. It was a span of 38 years, 10 months, and two days. Not to mention, it was exactly 14,187 days.
“I didn’t set this as a goal, so that’s probably why it’s so surreal and so weird to me,” James said. “I never talked about being the all-time scorer in NBA history until my numbers started getting closer and closer, and I was like, ‘Oh wow, this is crazy. This is weird, but I guess I’m doing it.’”
James ended his record-breaking night with 38 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and three steals in 34 minutes of action. He finished 13-of-20 (65%) shooting from the floor, 4-of-6 (66.7%) beyond the arc, and 8-of-10 (80%) at the foul line.
Eighteen-time All-NBA member LeBron James fuels GOAT debate, says he would select himself No. 1 overall if he was a general manager
Additionally, the NBA GOAT debate has already been discussed enough as it is. That should go without saying. But fans enjoy beating this dead horse. Scratch that idiom, by now the horse corpse is a skeleton six feet below ground. So, why not dig it up for yet another interesting debate?
The majority of basketball fans would probably narrow it down to three players: Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James. “Bill Russell was a pioneer — as a player, as a champion, as the NBA’s first Black head coach and as an activist,” Jordan said of the Hall of Famer last July after he passed away at the age of 88.
Lebron James breaks the NBA’s all time scoring record pic.twitter.com/zkrd8ONUPU
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) February 8, 2023
“He paved the way and set an example for every Black player who came into the league after him, including me.” For that logical reason, Russell should rank at least top 5 on anyone’s all-time list. After all, he revolutionized the sport.
Furthermore, a few spectators could argue that because Russell won 11 championships and helped change the NBA forever for African Americans, the Boston Celtics legend is “the most important player” in league history.
“Championships are at the top, because I’m a team-first guy,” added LeBron James. “You can’t be great in this league without great teammates, great coaches. The championships will always sit at the top for me.”
Nonetheless, the argument for most influential or “the GOAT” would still have to come down to Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James. If a general manager could only pick one player in the first round of an all-time draft, one of these two legends has to be the No. 1 overall pick. Lakers fans could mention Kobe Bryant as well.