Kareem Abdul-Jabbar mentions sad truth about relationship with LeBron James while describing admiration for him

Jason Simpson
3 Min Read

A lot has been made of the relationship (or lack thereof) between NBA icons LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

The two individuals will likely always be linked in NBA history after James passed Abdul-Jabbar for the No. 1 spot on the league’s all-time scoring list this season.

The scoring legends shared a nice moment after James took hold of the top spot, but according to Abdul-Jabbar, they’ve never spoken for more than a few minutes. The Hall of Famer recently talked about his relationship with James and explained that even though he isn’t exactly close with the Los Angeles Lakers superstar, he has “nothing but admiration” for him.

“I’ve never had a chance to talk to LeBron other than two or three minutes,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “There’s no animosity or resentment there at all. He’s done remarkable things. He deserves all the accolades, whatever it is, that he’s accomplished. … We might get the chance [to speak]. I certainly wouldn’t be against it. As far as where his heart is and the things that he does, I’ve got nothing but admiration for him.”

Abdul-Jabbar will likely always be seen as one of the greatest players in Lakers history. Across 14 seasons with the organization, he won five NBA titles and three MVP awards.

James’ status as an all-time Lakers great is perhaps a step below Abdul-Jabbar’s, but that’s due in large part to the simple fact that the 38-year-old has only been with the franchise for five years. Of course, James has left his mark during that time, headlined by the team’s 2020 championship in the bubble season.

In the grand scheme of NBA history, James and Abdul-Jabbar are often mentioned as two of the three best players to ever take the floor. They certainly both have the resumes to back that up, and in James’ case, he likely isn’t done adding to his.

It’s fascinating to hear Abdul-Jabbar’s perspective about his relationship with James. Based on his comments, it’s clear that there’s no bad blood between the two. Lakers fans would certainly love to see them become friends, though it’s unclear if that’s in the cards.

For now, James is likely focused on sorting out his NBA future, as there are seemingly multiple paths he could take this offseason. The hope is that he’ll be back in Los Angeles for another run when the 2023-24 season begins.

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Jason is excited about the LeBron James era of Lakers basketball and hopes that the end result will be multiple championships.