Charles Barkley argues that LeBron James had a head start to breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s scoring record

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LeBron James is on the verge of breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time scoring record. While impressed with James’ accomplishments, Charles Barkley argued that “The King” had a head start to his record-breaking feat.

In an interview on The Next Round, Barkley was asked about James becoming the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. The Hall of Fame forward praised James, but pointed out how Abdul-Jabbar played four years in college before entering the league in 1969.

“(James) is a great player and he’s a great, great guy,” Barkley said. “But I think all those numbers are somewhat skewed. You have to understand, Kareem had to go to college for four years. … I’m pretty sure if Kareem had played four more years earlier, his numbers would be through the roof.”

Charles Barkley added that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played with great players such as Magic Johnson and James Worthy, but still became the all-time leading scorer. LeBron James didn’t play with other superstars until he joined the Miami Heat in 2010, seven years after getting drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“More guys took points away from Kareem,” Barkley said. “When LeBron was playing Cleveland, he had to score 30-something a night or more to win. Kareem’s playing with Magic, James Worthy, Byron Scott, guys like that. Those are another possessions he didn’t get.”

Nevertheless, James breaking the NBA’s all-time scoring record is an impressive accomplishment. “The King” could pass Abdul-Jabbar sometime next month if he stays healthy and maintains his scoring pace. He’s averaging 36.4 points, 9.5 rebounds and 8.6 assists since turning 38 years old last Dec. 30.

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LeBron James on breaking the scoring record

Some have labeled LeBron James as a pass-first player rather than a scorer. That might be true in a way, but James is on the verge of becoming the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.

In an interview with ESPN’s Dave McMenamin two weeks ago, James revealed his thoughts on breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s scoring record.

“It wasn’t a goal of mine when I entered the league,” James said. “Making the All-Star team, being Rookie of the Year, being First-Team All-NBA, First-Team All-Defense. Winning a championship, for sure and being an MVP of the league. The scoring record was never ever even thought of in my head because I’ve always been a pass-first guy. I’ve always loved seeing the success of my teammates.”

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LeBron James has had a great journey since developing his jump shot during his career. He was more of a slasher at first, but had to evolve to become one of the greatest players in NBA history.

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Edited by Juan Paolo David



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