THE KING JAMES VERSION Written by: Umar Muhajjir
Some sports critics thought that when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar retired from the NBA in 1989, his league-leading all-time scorer title would stand for an eternity, but nearly 39 years later, LeBron James revised the history books and etched his name at the top spot.
"I had a moment there, but I don't think it hit me; you know what transpired...." LeBron said when asked by ESPN reporters Tuesday night after their loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder but his breaking that long-standing record far outweighed the 133-130 defeat.
Born December 30, 1984, in Akron, Ohio, LeBron Raymonde James, better known as "King James", quickly showed his natural talents for basketball. It wasn't long after that– that he was recruited to St.Vincent-St. Mary High School in his hometown of Akron, and his quarter-century-long reign of dominance on the court would begin.
Not only did " King James" win three High school basketball Championships, but he also achieved countless number of accolades professionally, including
Rookie of the year (2004),
4x NBA MVP (2009,2010,2012,2013),
13x ALL-NBA First Team (2006,2008-2018,2020),
4x NBA Champion (2012,2013,2016,2020),
And a single-season scoring title, just to name a few. But with his latest milestone, James achieved what he set out for 20 seasons earlier, and that was to become the greatest player to ever step foot on an NBA Court. When ESPN's Mike Wilbon asked how it felt to be breaking a record that stood for so long, he chuckled and calmly replied, "It's mind-boggling...I surely never said I wanted to be an all-time leader in scoring...". He then went on to humbly accept the torch, which was all but his, from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and thank him for paving the way for black players in the league and those to come.
It's no secret that
LeBron James(38), now in his 20th NBA season, has withstood the test of time. Coming into Tuesday night's game only needing 36 points to make history, he walked on the court with the same poise and humility as that charismatic 18-year-old from Akron had done when attempting to score his first NBA bucket. This milestone achievement not only cemented James into the history books, but his durability, longevity, and commitment to conditioning also created a new NBA format for staying relevant in this ever-changing league. LeBrons' love for the game has put him amongst the greats, and that same love is the main reason his fans and haters alike have put him on their Mount Rushmore of NBA stars.
Although LeBrons new all-time record in points (38,390 and counting) will probably live on well past any of our lifetime, he still has a message for the youth and future NBA prospects.
“You can’t be afraid to fail… You have to be able to accept failure to get better.”
We will probably never see talent, dedication, and professionalism at this level again, but one thing for sure is that LeBron James has left a blueprint for longevity in this league. He should be celebrated for this incredible feat, and we should be honored to have witnessed NBA history being written not by the hands of ordinary men but the history of today’s NBA written in The King James Version.
Written by: Umar Muhajjir
Courtesy of ENDEP ENTERTAINMENT