With LeBron James on the verge of becoming the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green is paying tribute to James’ dedication over the past two decades.
Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today looked at how James’ dedication to the game is connected to consistency, longevity and durability, with Green noting James’ ability to focus on the game.
“When you look at those three things, it’s a testament to how he lives his life,” Green told USA TODAY Sports. “I recently said he’s the greatest face the NBA has ever had. Think about the day and age we live in – cameras, social media – he’s never had a scandal. Never been arrested. Never photo’d drunk. Those things go hand in hand with durability, longevity, consistency.”
James is just 89 points away from surpassing the legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the all-time scoring record. Abdul-Jabbar accomplished that feat by playing for 20 seasons from 1969 to 1989, including a sting with the Lakers from 1975 to 1989.
The current season is James’ 20th as an NBA player, with the future Hall of Famer having already put his name in the record books on numerous other occasions. However, the all-time scoring mark has long been among the most prestigious records in the league.
James has been forced to deal with more injuries in recent years, though he still remains among the most durable players in the NBA. Along the way, he’s been able to maintain his all-around consistency while playing for three different teams.
The four-time champion began his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003 before leaving to join the Miami Heat in 2010 as a free agent. Four years later, James returned to the Cavaliers and spent four seasons there before signing with the Lakers as a free agent in 2018.
James has led each of his teams to NBA titles. The first two of those came with the Heat in 2012 and 2013, followed by one with the Cavaliers in 2016 and Lakers in 2020.
Green’s high praise of James might be a source of amusement for some fans. That’s because of their heated dispute during the 2016 NBA Finals that led to a one-game suspension for Green.
At the time of that suspension, Green and the Warriors were one game away from capturing their second straight NBA title. However, James led his Cavaliers team to a record-setting comeback to capture the franchise’s first league title.
Green’s reference to James’ ability to avoid scandals offers yet another window into James’ dedication. It also shows that James’ position as a role model and influencer has yet to wane.