Monday, February 6, 2023

“I Want To Be Respected Whenever I Play”: LeBron Opens Up About Chasing Kareem’s Record

LOS ANGELES — With the Lakers headed to Sacramento this weekend and LeBron James needing less than 500 points to break Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time mark of 38,397 points, James scored his first NBA points at the Kings. Reflected the moment of doing. House.

“I knew I was ready for this moment,” James told ESPN in an exclusive interview on Friday. “I knew I was in the best league in the world. But I didn’t know what to expect. And I was very nervous. I didn’t know how I was going to get my first basket.”

Three minutes and four seconds after starting his first NBA game on October 29, 2003, James hit his first NBA shot: a dribble jump shot, with a line 16 feet from the basket.

“Really, it’s a tough shot,” James said. “But I was very nervous with excitement. Nervous, I don’t want to fail. I don’t want to let people down.”

Since then James has only collected achievements and points. As he approaches Abdul-Jabbar’s record, he goes on to average 33.7 points on 57.8% shooting in his last 12 games, including 10-of-19 shooting in Friday night’s 130-114 win over the Atlanta Hawks. Contains 25 digits.

Not bad for a guy who has long argued that he is not a scorer.

“I mean, I know how to put the ball in the basket,” James said. “When I say I’m not a scorer, I mean it in the sense that it’s never been a part of my game that defines me… But there’s an argument to be made. When you see that record How long has it been and great Kareem, to achieve something like that.

“But it’s not for me to discuss it because I’ve never felt that way.”

Abdul-Jabbar had held the torch as the league’s leading scorer since April 5, 1984, nearly nine months before the birth of James, who turned 38 last month.

Unlike Abdul-Jabbar, whose signature skyhook is frozen in time in bronze like a statue outside the Crypto.com Arena, James said taking a step out of his offensive repertoire isn’t such an obvious choice.

“It’s not like I have a signature shot like Dirk [Nowitzki] or the michael jordan patent fadeaway shot or the kareem uppercut or the dream shake [Hakeem Olajuwon]James said. “I think the one attribute that people always talk about is my signature slam dunk.” hatchet in transfer”.

Play Play

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Tremendous attack by LeBron James and flies in to bury him.

James continues to play above the rim as his career progresses, but his team no longer plays near the top of the standings. James has missed the playoffs in two of his four seasons with the LA Lakers and has an 18–21 record, 12th in the Western Conference.

“I want to win. [Perder] It doesn’t feel good to me,” James said. “I don’t like achievement, and it doesn’t feel good when it’s a failed attempt … So now we’re sitting here as a franchise and a team that’s 500. We’ve played some good basketball lately, but we want to try and win at the highest level. It has never been my DNA to break records or set records or go up against the greats in a losing effort.”

To illustrate his point, James explained how he decided to sit out the final five games of last season to recover from an ankle injury after L.A. had already been eliminated from post-season contention. Instead come back and play two more games. Select for the scoring title. James averaged 30 points per game in his 19th season.

“Being on the court, trying to get [título] Scoring in games that don’t matter, I found it so ridiculous. So, I thought, I’m not even going [jugar]” he said. “So it never matters to me unless it’s about winning.”

Even though it’s been 10 years since he won the last of his four regular season MVPs in 2013, James still prides himself on opposing defenses trying to stop him as one of the best players in the league.

“To be able to go out there and still be the focus of my opponent’s hearing reports shows me that I’m still playing at a high level,” he said. “I want to continue playing at the championship level and be respected every time I touch the court as a threat when I play.”

James has two more years left on his contract with the Lakers. While he has repeatedly expressed hope that the Lakers can find a way to build a more competitive team around him by the twilight of his career, there is another goal that he prioritizes most.

“I need to be on the court with my son, I need to be on the court with Brony,” James said of his oldest son, who is currently a high school senior who is set to play in the NBA by the 2024 season. would not be eligible. -25 under the terms of the present collective agreement.

James has previously expressed this desire, saying that he hopes to be his son’s teammate in the league. However, on Friday, he changed his stance slightly.

“Either matchup in the same uniform or against. I don’t mean [defenderse entre sí durante todo el juego]Because he’s a point guard and I’m one, at this point I’m playing center or whatever the team needs me to be,” James said. “But I’d love to have Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr. “

James said he and Bronnie aren’t actively discussing the future possibility, but he knows it’s something his son is interested in as well.

“I ask him what his aspirations are and he says he wants to play in the NBA,” James said. “So if you want to do it, you have to work. I’m already here, so I’m just waiting for you.”

And then there would be another NBA first basket that would upset the James family.

James smiled when referring to his career point total: “He’s got a long way to go to reach me.”

Nation World News Desk
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