The Lakers lost 130-133; but it couldn’t prevent a moment of history.
It got Abdul-Jabbar down to writing, as he put together an essay on his Substack page in awe of ‘King’ James.
Abdul-Jabbar opened the post by praising James’ “unbelievable drive, dedication and talent” and also lauded his desire for winning while being a good teammate.
The Basketball Hall of Fame member then addressed his feelings as James pulled closer to the record.
HISTORY.With this bucket, LeBron James moves past Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer! https://t.co/N6V5RxPe6r
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) 1675832388000
“In the months leading up to LeBron breaking my record, so much was written about how I would feel on the day he sank that record-breaking shot that I had to laugh,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote. “I’d already written several times stating exactly how I felt, so there really wasn’t much to speculate about.
“It’s as if I won a billion dollars in a lottery, and 39 years later, someone won two billion dollars. How would I feel? Grateful that I won and happy that the next person also won. His winning in no way affects my winning.”
Abdul-Jabbar then focused on former teammate Earvin “Magic” Johnson, who said he felt that the former would have a difficult time watching his record go by the boards. Abdul-Jabbar admitted that may have been the case shortly after his retirement, but not anymore.
“But that ain’t me today. I’m 75. The only time I ever think of the record is when someone brings it up. I retired from the NBA 34 years ago. For the past 20 years, I’ve occupied myself with social activism, my writing career, and my family — especially my three grandchildren.
“… Sorry, Earvin. I love you, brother, but this time you got it wrong.”
Abdul-Jabbar also addressed his relationship with the 38-year-old James … or lack thereof.
“LeBron said we don’t have a relationship. He’s right — and for that I blame myself. Not for anything I did, but perhaps for not making more of an effort to reach out to him,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote.
“By nature I have never been a chummy, reaching-out kind of guy (as the media was always quick to point out). I’m quiet, shy, and am such a devoted homebody that you’d think I have agoraphobia. I like to read, watch TV, listen to jazz. That’s pretty much it. For the past 15 years my focus has been less on forming new relationships than on nurturing my old friendships with people like Magic, Michael Cooper, Jerry West, and so on.”
It ended with James being appreciated as a person both on and off the field.
“Bottom line about LeBron and me: LeBron makes me love the game again. And he makes me proud to be part of an ever-widening group of athletes who actively care about their community.”