Former Lakers center says LeBron James won’t be allowed to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as all-time leading scorer

Jonathan Sherman
3 Min Read

Though the Los Angeles Lakers have gotten off to a horrible start to the 2022-23 NBA season, LeBron James is still careening toward league history.

As it stands, James is just 1,106 points away from tying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most points scored by a single player in league history.

The expectation is that James will surpass Abdul-Jabbar later this season.

However, former NBA big man John Salley doesn’t think that will take place. He recently appeared on Shannon Sharpe’s podcast to make the rather outlandish claim that James won’t be allowed to pass Abdul-Jabbar.

“I think they’re not going to let him get it,” he said.

Salley then went on to recount a story in which former Lakers coach Phil Jackson once told him that “some records need to stand.”

Based on Salley’s opinion on the matter, it appears as though he believes the NBA will somehow keep James from passing Abdul-Jabbar on the all-time scoring list. It’s unclear if he is pointing to some kind of conspiracy theory, but whatever the case may be, Salley may not realize just how close James currently is to claiming that top spot.

Even if James continues to average the 24.3 points per game that he is currently scoring this season, he would still need just 46 more games to pass Abdul-Jabbar.

If, for whatever reason, James cannot claim the top spot this season, he would surely do it in the 2023-24 season. Right now, it seems like it is only a matter of time until he grabs the record.

One question regarding James and the Lakers is whether or not James becoming the top scorer will end up being the high point for the franchise this season. The Lakers could not have gotten off to a worse start in the current campaign and presently sit at the No. 14 seed in the Western Conference with a record of 2-8.

It’s obviously not the kind of start that James or the rest of the franchise were hoping for. However, it is the kind of start that a lot of experts and fans expected.

Currently, James is nursing a foot injury that forced him to miss his team’s 139-116 loss to the Utah Jazz on Monday. He’ll get a chance to return to play in his team’s battle against the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.